One of the original victims of Ed Okun’s 1031 TaxGroup embezzlement ponzi scheme speaks out about her Victim’s Impact Statement and her gratitude for. . . us. Thank you and may the best possible outcome be realized~
Comment From An Okun Victim
“You said it all in a nutshell, about a nut. Thank you, Dean’s Guide. You’ve been a great resource for we victims of Okun, in that were it not for your website many of us wouldn’t have connected with one another and had each other’s support over the last three years.
Thankfully the US Attorney’s office flew several of us to Virginia to give our Victim’s Impact Statements at Okun’s sentencing hearing, which afforded a few of us the opportunity to meet one another. It haunts many of us to this day wondering how many victims out there may STILL be unaware of what’s transpired. They moved, they’re in retirement facilities, they died, whatever may have happened they were unreachable by the court system and therefore have only known their financial loss without answers.
We’ve yet to realize national press coverage of this horrendous white collar crime committed upon us non-investors, which could so easily happen to anyone else. A heed of warning to anyone considering utilizing the IRS’ 1031 Exchange rule…..don’t.
Ed Okun the 1031 Tax Group convicted felon is at it again. He now has a website, freeokun.com, that is ranked #1 on page 1 of a Google search for the keywords “Ed Okun.” If you lost your life savings to this man and are not seeing any of your restitution monies, you may want to correct the record. Please tell us your story and refute the idea that Okun is innocent.
Here is the landing page for freeokun.com word for word- are you ready to tell the world it is garbage?
“Ed Okun was living his dream. A native born Canadian, he was a self-made, multi-multi millionaire, on a trajectory to reach the Forbes 400. Of course, as a successful businessman, Ed had a full set of executive trappings and “toys” : a couple of corporate jets, a helicopter, a summer home on 30 waterfront acres in New Hampshire, a waterfront home in Miami Beach, along with a 106’ Broward motor yacht (complete with full-time professional crew). When his business took him to Indianapolis in 1999, he even sponsored an Indy race car in 2005 which placed 14th in the Indy 500.
Ed’s special talent was recognizing potential opportunities in distressed Real Estate, acquiring title to the property then adding capital and vision. He thus turned “losers” into “winners”, which he then syndicated to pools of investors to whom he offered and usually provided the necessary operating management services, and earned substantial profits for all (including himself).”
The final chapter is over for the prosecution portion of the Ed Okun 1031 Tax Group rip off. The victims continue to watch their restitution go down the drain but in a show of force Ed Okun, the architect of a $126 million ponzi scheme, was sentenced to 100 years in prison today. Okun’s lawyers were seeking a sentence of 10-15 years. Thankfully Okun’s attorneys had no power in making that sentence a reality.
Vesta Strategies, a short lived 1031 scam in the vein of Ed Okun, had many investors fooled into believing their monies were safe. We first wrote about Vesta “Has a New Ed Okun Arrived On The Scene: Vesta Strategies LLC Staggers from Wall St Journal Story” and “Vesta Strategies “Sales Pitch” Marketing Information They Forgot to Pull?”
As in the Okun case, Vesta Strategies investors were bilked out of their money and a number of these victims and former employees have voiced their pain or opinions. And just like the Okun case, some Vesta employees maintain they were unaware of what was going on. The following comment was made by former Vesta Strategies employee Joe Barrett.
Joe wrote copy for his Vesta office but we are unclear which quote he penned. Was it the now very comical analogy of Vesta as “McDonalds” in their approach to business, I bet McDonalds loves that company, or the innocuous “Final Pitch” referring to their “expert information” ?
“It’s funny to read the above as I am the former Vesta employee who wrote it. Obviously, at the time I wrote it, it was true. Prior to the abrupt closure of the company, we employees were unaware of the coming firestorm. It’s so unfortunate because some investors lost money, we employees lost jobs and our individual reputations in the industry are tarnished. Thanks Mr. Estupinian!”