Newsflash: Ed Okun Denied Bond, Remains Incarcerated

This just in courtesy of the “mystery caller”: Ed Okun’s attempt to secure bail and his freedom was denied today at his bond hearing in Richmond, Virginia. The hearing, which ran from 2pm to 5pm EST, was previously postponed so that Okun could build a case for gaining bail. Okun charged with multiple counts in relationship to his “ponzi” like scheme which bilked investors out of $160 million, was denied bail as:

1. Flight risk

2. Danger to the Community at large

His court appointed attorney was present; and according to the “mystery caller” original Miami attorney Michael Rosen was also in attendance.

Analysis

There is a very sad and ironic problem with keeping Ed Okun incarcerated. There is no way to force Okun to pay restitution if he is incarcerated. Not that Okun would have the ability, means, or method to legitimately pay back Train Wreck Victims.

But with Okun incarcerated, there is no hope at all in recovering anything that he may have hidden, if he hid anything at all, or forcing him to “work” for his victims.

Now it seems the only hope that victims of Ed Okun’s collapsed 1031 scheme have in recovering their monies is to go after the insurance companies involved in the transactions.

Newsflash: Ed Okun’s Bond Hearing Postponed To May 9

This just in from the Department of Justice and one of our train wreck friends Elizabeth, Ed Okun’s bond hearing scheduled for today (April 29) was canceled. The new date for Okun’s bond hearing is Friday May 9 at 2pm. The reason for the postponement? Okun’s appointed public defender asked for the postponement so your guess is as good as mine: preparation issues?

How do you represent a criminal like Okun to a court of law in hopes of gaining his freedom-even if it is a short lived freedom?

Here are the challenges Okun’s attorney faces

1. Ed is reportedly flat broke
2. Ed may have hidden funds offshore
3. Ed is definitely a flight risk
4. Ed has embezzled, without recovery to victims, at least $132million
5. Ed’s credibility and word are worthless

Against All Odds: Cases That Attorneys Represented the “Unrepresentable”

1. The OJ Case–Simpson walked to the amazement of the world
2. The “Nightstalker”– Richard Ramirez sits on death row the best he could have ever gotten
3. Polly KlausRichard Allen Davis how could anyone represent this piece of _hit?
4. Scott Peterson–Did anyone and I mean anyone ever believe this punk?
5. Rodney King’s Cops–just change the venue and everything goes bye-bye

Realtor’s Sales Dream #1: The Top 10 Zip Codes And Real Estate

Reuters.com published this deansguide article April 20, 2008
Chicago Sun Times published this deansguide article April 20, 2008

Realtors have many challenges in a down market like we are experiencing today. Even in the finest neighborhoods in America, the slow down can be felt. Yet one thing is certain-the higher the price point the higher the commission check. With that in mind, MikeLiebner.com presents a fun look at America’s best “Most Expensive Zip Codes and Real Estate 2006.” Mark’s stats come from Forbes.com. 2006 gives us a look at a market 2 years removed from the aberration we are experiencing now:

Top 10 (Counties) And Cities Median Price By Zip Code

1. 11962 Sagaponack (Suffolk), NY $2,787,500
2. 92067 Rancho Santa Fe (San Diego), CA $2,445,000
3. 92662 Newport Beach (Orange), CA $2,397,500
4. 94528 Diablo (Contra Costa), CA $2,266,00
5. 94957 Ross (Marin), CA $2,247,500
6. 11976 Water Mill (Suffolk), NY $2,150,000
7. 93108 Santa Barbara (Santa Barbara), CA $2,050,000
8. 90402 Santa Monica (Los Angeles), CA $2,005,000
9. 92661 Newport Beach (Orange), CA $1,996,500
10. 33109 Miami Beach (Miami-Dade), CA $1,942,500

Realtor’s Sales Nightmare #2: Top 10 Cities With The Worst Economies

FoxBusiness.com published this deansguide article April 18, 2008

Traffic is a huge deterrent for many home buyers but the worst nightmare for a Realtor is selling property within a dead or recession hit economic area. The following is a heart rendering list “By The Numbers: Worst Cities For Jobs.” Although many of these areas have great home buying deals, Realtors are struggling to sell even the best properties.

The List

New Orleans, LA: “5-year annualized job growth: -3.8%”

Detroit, MI: “5-year annualized job growth: -1.5%”

Flint, MI: “5-year annualized job growth: -1.4%”

Canton, OH: “5-year annualized job growth: -1.1%”

Warren, MI: “5-year annualized job growth: -0.9%”

Hickory, NC: “5-year annualized job growth: -0.8%”

Lansing, MI: “5-year annualized job growth: -0.8%”

Dayton, OH: “5-year annualized job growth: -0.7%”

Youngstown, OH: “5-year annualized job growth: -0.6%”

Ann Arbor, MI: “5-year annualized job growth: -0.4%”

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Aristotle, Perry Mason: What Lies Beneath The Surface of The 1031 Tax Group Case?

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle the brilliant Scottish born Physician and creator of Sherlock Holmes utilized “Deductive Reasoning” to solve the unsolvable. Aristotle, the great Greek philosopher, utilized logic to become one of the most important founding figures in Western Philosophy. Perry Mason, a fictional television attorney, was a brilliant tactician with foresight and instinct.

What can we learn from these three figures, fictional and real, when applied to the Ed Okun 1031 Tax Group case?

Holmes

Sherlock would utilize Deductive Reasoning by taking the information in the case and then work from the general to the specific aka “Top-Down” approach.

Sherlock would begin with a theory about Ed Okun and his role in the 1031 Tax Group case. He would then deduce the information down into a “hypothesis” which he could test. Sherlock would then task Watson with remembering “observations” about Mr. Okun that would further address the hypothesis.

At this point “we are able to test the data a confirmation (or not) of our original theory.”

Analysis: Holmes would deduce that it is quite possible that hidden accomplices or a unknown “mastermind” may be behind the 1031 Tax Group case. With Watson’s constant nodding approval, Holmes could easily posit that “there is more than meets the eye here ole boy.”

Aristotle

Known as one of the father’s of Western Philosophy and founder of deductive reasoning, Aristotle’s greatest asset is his grounded belief in logic.

Aristotle would collect the facts, like Sergeant Friday, and logically eliminate what could not be proven. Working methodically, Aristotle would comb the financial records for connections that might shed light on Holmes deductive findings–unknown forces behind Mr. Okun.

Mason

With his hammer, detective Paul Drake, and his feather, the beautiful Della, Perry Mason would use his instinct to decipher the Okun mess. Is there a patsy, beside the investors, amongst the violators? Is Okun the front man or fall guy?

If nobody else exists in the Okun mess and he is the sole violator then why are there not more monies left over? Did this one man actually spend every last dime, pinch every last nickel from over blown refinanced properties, and did it all land in his lap as a result?

Your guess is as good as mine. Suffice it to say that there are many unanswered questions that may never come out let alone be answered. Like the old radio show only “The Shadow” knows.

Okun Attorney To Miami Herald: “Ed Is Confident He Will Be Proven Innocent In A Court of Law”

 Reuters.com published this article March 20, 2008

“Miami businessman Okun arrested in fraud scheme” is the Miami Herald’s Dan Christensen’s wonderful, succinct description of the events of the Ed Okun saga as it unfolds. Although most of the article is a recapitulation of information, some of the following passages paint a picture of recent events.

According to Okun attorney Rosen: ”He (Okun) was arrested early this morning by federal agents who came to his house while he was having breakfast with his wife and two-year-old child.”

Analysis: Mr. Rosen’s description of Mr. Okun’s arrest in front of Mr. Okun’s child is an obvious attempt to seek sympathy in the court of public opinion.

What about the unknown number of children who are sitting with their parents around a breakfast table trying to figure out what to do to make ends meet in the everyday real world?

What we know:

1. “Okun is being held without bond at Miami’s Federal Detention Center, according to his Coral Gables lawyer Michael Rosen.”

2. “Okun told The Miami Herald in December that his actions have been misunderstood.”

3. “More than a dozen alleged victims live in Florida, and include retirees, businessmen and even a former Broward Sheriff’s detention deputy.

4. The Miami Herald claims that Rosen will attempt to seek bail for Mr. Okun in Virginia

Analysis: Having lived in Virginia for 7 years, being told by natives that it is the northern part of the south, and witnessing the staunch very real conservatism the state supported–good luck

5. The “Simone” Factor: “The indictment says Okun had an employee overnight $15,000 in cash to him while he was aboard ”The Simone” while staying at the Atlantis Marina on Paradise Island in Nassau in January 2007.

American News Media and Real Estate Industry: Your Business Models Are Changing Are You Ready To Survive?

Reuters.com published this article March 17, 2008 

In a bombshell report on the “state of the news media 2008″ the Project for Excellence in Journalism, a “non partisan-non ideological-non political” research organization reports some astute if not astonishing findings that show eerie parallels between mass media and the real estate industry:

The Original Posit

1. Critics Wrong?: The posit here is that critics tended, myself included, to seetechnology democratizing the media and traditional journalism in decline.” Audiences are “fragmenting across new information sources (blogs-social media sites) breaking the grip of the media elites.” That was our posit and stance.

2. Long Tail Theory: the idea that the millions of niche markets could be bigger in aggregate than the “old mass market dominated by large companies and producers.”

Analysis

These points would lead to the perception that mass news media is losing it’s audience to bloggers, losing it’s readership, and battling a losing war of attrition to “citizen journalism.”

Reality #1

The truth according to Project for Excellence in Journalism is “even with so many new sources, more people now consume what old media newsrooms produce, particularly from print, than before.” Traditional news media is more popular than ever before but how?

Reality #2

Although the fact that news media popularity remains high, with readers clamoring to read their product, the problem remains that there are less advertising dollars leading to layoffs and staff cuts as a way to reduce costs. According to Joe Garofoli’s well organized article on this report “. . . the latest (example) is 157 Media News employees in the Bay Area were let go over the past few weeks.”

Outlook for American News Media and Real Estate Industry a Parallel

The crisis in journalism, in other words, may not strictly be loss of audience. It may, more fundamentally, be the decoupling of news and advertising. . .”

News people see as their basic challenge: somehow they must reinvent their profession and their business model at the same time they are cutting back on their reporting and resources.”

Real Estate Industry Challenge and Analysis

Like journalism, the market for buyers and sellers is still out there but the rules of engagement have changed drastically. The business model for brokers going forward will be to provide free unlimited information that is constantly refreshed, monitored, and provides real time engagement with it’s audience.

The Change

Real Estate broker-owners in the past could rely upon exclusivity of the mls information as the “secret formula” or carrot on a stick business driver. Broker’s had control of this information and the public was forced to engage with brokers in order to gain access to what they wanted to explore.

Today that old business model is gone and doomed to failure. The new model is total transparency in business, in information, and in practices and processes.

Mechanisms for Success and Survival

For Realtor broker owners the mechanisms for Success and Survival:

1. Incorporate blogging as the marketing tool
2. Search engine optimization tool
3. Advertising tool
4. Information-Value provider to the public

Killer Application

Within this strategy is the blog network which is a first adopter advantage that guarantees a broker the survival of his/ her business, search engine optimization that becomes the “killer” lead generation application of the future and the tool which can and will lock your competition out of Google searches pertaining to your keywords, phrase based on your location and niche market.