Is This Where the 1031 Tax Group Victim’s Monies Disappeared?



The 1031 Tax Group has the best spin doctors/corporate reputation management specialists, money can buy, in place to attempt to minimize the screams of scandal . These spin doctors continue to tell victims that web sites and other sources of information have been set up to keep them informed of all developments. There attitude seems to be that everything is transparent, honest, and complete in it’s detail. Yet, I doubt that these hired guns were ready for Katherine Conrad’s hard hitting article “Firm’s investors may recoup from sale of owner’s ‘toys.’ “ which describes Ed Okun’s lavish lifestyle.

It is understandable that very successful men have their toys, their assets designed to enhance their reputations, and their wealthy habits picked up from these excesses. Yet this appears a bit extreme and eccentric. Here is a partial list of the toys according to Bankruptcy court documents filed this past week: “four luxury homes worth $19.5 million; two Gulf Stream jets, a Lear jet, a helicopter, eight boats and 20 vehicles, including two Ferraris, a Lamborghini and an Aston Martin. ” Eight boats, 20 cars, three Jet airplanes and four exotic cars?

According to one of the victim’s attorneys who wished to remain anonymous, these assets include commercial properties, strip malls, and office buildings which total some $500 million. That would seem to bode well for victims seeking to recover their monies. The travesty is that these assets are off limits to bilked investors. The assets are “collateral being pledged to JPS Capital Partners.” JPS is in the process of determining whether they will “cover” the 1031 Tax Group debts by liquidating a large portion of the collateral previously listed. They will make their decision by the end of the month.

In the meantime, the investment victims remain nervous and apprehensive about their chances of recovery. Some of the worst hit victims of the 1031 Advance company in San Jose: “Candace Graham of Portola Valley, who lost $3.3 million; James and Diane Bordoni of Los Altos, who entrusted the company with $10.6 million; the DonKonics family of Martinez, who lost $2.8 million; and Florenzio Martinez of San Jose, who lost more than $400,000.”


If you have lost money to the 1031 Tax Group please let us know your story. Please contact me at


15 thoughts on “Is This Where the 1031 Tax Group Victim’s Monies Disappeared?

  1. Thank you for continuing to print articles re Ed Okun bilking millions from innocent bystanders. Allow me to correct you on a point – we TWV’s (Train Wreck Victims) did not INVEST our life savings with him. Our monies were to be held ‘in trust’; not held in business operating accounts for him to ‘borrow’ from for his various business/pleasure ventures.

    And now we’re told we can’t touch the assets he used OUR money to invest in those? The asset-based loan investors will evidently be using all of Okun’s assets to accommodate a loan package to ‘fully’ repay us TWVs. What they fail to report is we will NOT be repaid in full because the loan package allows for full restitution AFTER Chapter 11 management costs and expenses have been paid. While they did allow for $5 million to go toward those expenses, over $2 million have already been incurred as of their 6-30-07 Operating Statement.

    I had over $482,000 on deposit with 1031 Advance, Inc. of San Jose, CA when Okun, et al filed bankruptcy. Not including the probable tax consequences from the IRS, I am already out of pocket several thousand dollars on top of that. I retired early last year because I had everything ‘set up’ and could. Now I’m facing the strong possiblity of having to go back to work at the age of 54, which may not sound so bad, but having been self-employed for almost 25 years it’s going to be tough going into the job market. It’s too late for me to rebuild a business again.

    In the meantime, Okun will have his luxury homes and toys to enjoy. Someone else may hold the titles, but he’ll still be running amok out there on our money – for many of us, our life’s savings. The weasle doesn’t even have the courtesy to show his face in court, but then he obviously doesn’t know the meaning of the word!

  2. Darlin,

    My heart goes out to you and what you are suffering with the Okun rip off. I wish I had a magic wand and I could help in some way. I believe that it is up to our politicians to act and act now with legislation. Nevada has placed a new 1031 law on the books aka SB 476. California is currently looking at following suit. Of course this does little for you and your fellow “Train Wreck Victims” being left in the lurch.

    Thank you for your kindness and sad story. I am going to continue writing on this subject and covering as much ground as possible. Thanks and my heart felt condolences to you and your family!


  3. Pingback: A Third Victim of the 1031 Tax Group Rip Off Blasts Ed Okun: “The Weasle Doesn’t Even Have the Courtesy to Show His Face in Court. . .” « DeansGuide

  4. one of his “boats” is an $11 million dollar yacht, hardly just a boat! How can he use assets as collateral when they were bought with “borrowed” money and were probably financed to boot – everyone but Okun is going to be a loser here.

  5. Blindsided,

    Your question is a fantastic question! How can a person use assets, as collateral, that were purchased with stolen funds? You would be best served to ask your local and state level politicians.


  6. Hey you guys,

    I have met Mr Okun and I can say that you are all wrong! Mr Okun is one of the kindest, best dressed he always looks so nice, and honest man. He always pay his bills to me, and even the fact they are high for him, he never objects. In the last three years we got to know a remarkable man, very generous. If he says the transportation are neessesary, its the truth. If you were in his shoes you also would not be coming in the courtroom . He doesnt have to there and hear people like you who are overly sensitive and perhaps even jealous of Mr Okun. Just relax and let Mr Okun lawyers tell you how it all really went and then move on. It was good before.

  7. John,

    Thank you for writing and defending your friend. It takes conviction to stand up for someone who is unpopular with regards to their actions or philosophies.

    As a service provider to Ed Okun, it sounds as if he has always treated you well, paid his bills on time, and he has left you with a good impression. You also stated that he is a truthful man and one that it seems would stand by his word(s).

    I understand all of this and again thank you for relating your experiences.

    On the other hand John, if you were a customer of one of Ed Okun’s owned and sanctioned 1031 Exchange companies you might have a completely different impression of the man. If you lost your entire life savings, like many of the people who have commented on this blog, you might see their opinion of Ed Okun.

    Nobody who comes to read and then comment on this site is allowed to do so unless I believe in their honesty and validity. I doubt that the large number of people who have told me their stories, “offline” and online, about the improprieties and financial losses suffered, are telling lies or less than the truth.

    In my opinion, the content I have provided is both factual and truthful. I have used major media newspapers, editorials, and websites as my sources for this content.

    In all of the commentary provided, all the articles written, and all of the opinions given yours stands alone as the only one that supports Ed Okun’s actions and Ed Okun’s lack there of.

    Consequently it is best summed up this way: We agree to disagree. Thanks for chiming in and good luck.


  8. Besides 4 luxury homes with an estimated value of $19.5 Million:

    Okun’s property
    Edward Okun acquired cars, boats and planes in the same manner he did real estate: in volume.
    • 2001 Ferrari 550 Barchetta
    • 2005 Gallardo Lamborghini
    • 2005 Bentley Continental GT
    • 2004 Lamborghini Murcielago
    • 2002 Dodge Caravan
    • 2006 Land Rover Supercharged
    • 2006 Rolls-Royce Phantom
    • 1979 Ferrari 400
    • 2003 Hummer H2
    • 1999 Cobra replica
    • 1967 Sunbeam Alpine
    • 2003 Aston Martin
    • 1982 Manta
    • 4 Indy cars
    • 1982 GTO replica
    • 2005 Harley-Davidson
    • 2006 Harley-Davidson
    • Helicopter
    • 78 Learjet 25D
    • 69 Gulfstream G2 N511BA
    • 70 Gulfstream G2B N982B
    • 26-foot Morin
    • 37-foot Heim wooden replica
    • Ski Nautique
    • Alu-craft
    • Simone, a 136-foot yacht
    • 38-foot Cigarette
    • 4 Jet Skis
    • 26-foot 1979 replica Dodge Gold Cup Racer
    — Source: U.S. Bankruptcy Court Southern District of New York

  9. John Howell –

    I am certain that you do not really know Ed Okun. Let me give you my reasons.

    Firstly, Ed Okun will only continue to pay someone for as long as he needs them. Unless you are one of his hard money lenders that he can not live without it is only a matter of time before you get screwed as well. Do a search on the internet – you will see Okun has backed out of deals for airlines, real estate, race car teams, brokerage firms, and real estate. I don’t have to make this up – it is all there for someone to read. Even one of his law firms sued him for non-payment of bills. When Okun doesn’t want to deal with someone anymore he claims that they “misrepresented something” without going into detail and then refuses to pay them. You might also take note that he owed a whole bunch of people $150M that he had no right to take!

    Secondly, Okun is not a nice guy. He doesn’t have ANY friends except overpaid lackeys. Not a single friend. He overpays his cronies to keep them looking the other way. There should be nothing but respect for the people who formerly worked for him and tried to do the right thing. Where are there careers now because of him? If he cared so much he wouldn’t have gambled the reputations of his employees on his own personal vanity. Okun is a Napoleonic bully who discards people the minute they do not agree with him. The reason why he doesn’t go to court is because he is a C-O-W-A-R-D. Okun always blames things that go wrong on other people. That is the hallmark of a coward.

    Lastly, and the real reason why I KNOW you don’t really know Okun is because you stated he is “best dressed he always looks so nice”. Ha Ha Ha! Okun’s atire is limited to a ratty polo shirt with food stains on it that is at least a size or two small to contain his gut. Combine this with a pair of ratty shorts and sandals and that is Okun’s atire no matter what the circumstance. If he is lounging on his yacht – that is what he wears. If there is an important business meeting – that is what he wears. He dresses like a rich a$$hole who doesn’t care what others think. “Loooks so nice”? Ha! He would be overweight if he were six foot five – too bad he is not even five feet tall. Gee, ever wonder why he has all these toys? Compensating for something?

    So in conclusion, while Dean put it nicely as “we agree to disagree” I will state that you are either: 1. Okun himself; 2. on his payroll; or 3. in serious need of meds.

    Edmond Dantes

  10. Pingback: Does Corleone, Sicily, Research, and Ed Okun Have Anything In Common? « DeansGuide

  11. I am not surprized to read of the demise of IPofA. I interviewed with the company for the number two legal spot in 2006. After a brief visit (less than two hours)I returned to the airport and my home. Shortly thereafter I was offered a position by the HR director, without ever meeting my future CEO (a former paralegal who had worked with Okun’s outside law firm), or Okun. When I inquired about a second interview, my wife and I were flown to Richmond, put up in a lavish hotel, etc, with no expenses spared. The strange thing was that no interview time had been set and the CEO had not taken the time to review my travle schedule. I did meet with her, with barely enough time to return the rental car and catch my flight. She met me in a “poodle skirt” wearing “Queen Bee” fluffy slippers and spent the entire hour on the phone with Okun who was frantic over the disappearnace of his poodle. MY wife met the office staff, which consisted of two of the CEO’s sisters and a handful of seemingly nice people. I never heard from them again and my wife was quite relieved after learning of the CEO’s paralegal background and her staff of siblings. I did get a nice gift bag with a T-shirt, hat, coffee mug, calculator, sunscreen and other objetcs all advertising his Indy racing team.

  12. Alden,

    That is the most outrageous yet in character story I have heard about Okun yet! Thank you for sharing.

    The sad fact of the matter is that the T-shirt, hat, coffee mug, calculator, sunscreen, Indy apparel, airline tickets, “lavish hotel”, with “no expenses spared” comes from the sweat and hard work of the people who Okun ripped off.

    350 people had their retirements ripped out from under them, stolen, and disregarded by a careless legal system and unaware uncaring politicians who allowed the climate that exists today for the likes of clowns like Okun to take full advantage in “rape and pillage” ponzi schemes without consciousness.

    Thanks for sharing!


  13. Pingback: Ed Okun Tax Group Scandal Reaching Climax: Is Recovery of Monies in The Cards? « DeansGuide

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