September 10, 2009 Gerald McHale, US Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Trustee, leada conference call Q & A session for the purpose of providing “a forum for creditors and victims alike to ask any questions they may have had related to the Bankruptcy and also to the Class Action litigation against Ed Okun and his 1031 Tax Group.” With the way the victims have been victimized they might as well have scheduled this call for September 11th as a 9-1-1 call seems to mirror the entire case.
Conference Call Speakers
The following people connect to this case were invited to answer questions from the victims:
Reuters.com published this deansguide article September 26, 2008
United States Trustee Gerald McHale’s9th newsletter briefing of the status of the Ed Okun 1031 Tax Group case highlights the difficulty and frustration of trying to “get blood from a stone.” The proverbial stone being Okun and the assets which seem to either be non existent or hiding.
Highlights or Lowlights?
The people waiting for some type of settlement must be getting very restless and asking questions non stop. I am sure Mr. McHale is doing his best to get as much money back as possible but the following plea says it all:
McHale in an open plea to the “Train Wreck Victims”
“Trust me when I say that it goes against my open nature and I know how frustrating it must be not to have your questions answered in detail. . . “
1. Supplemental Proof of Loss was filed by McHale July 30, 2008 “containing extensive analysis”
Analysis: What effect this supplement will have on recovery is anyone’s guess. At least McHale is working as much information into the mix as possible in regards to proving further damages and seeking compensation. The frustration for victims is they are often kept in the dark
2. JPS Capital, our old friends (Mr. Shapiro) who decided to set the record straight with deansguide but never delivered on that promise, are now a target of litigation or as McHale so clinically puts it “we have commenced an action against JPS and other parties asserting an interest in the New Hampshire lakeside mansion.” The goal is to recover $5.1 million in debtor monies
3. Richard Simring and David Field Plead guilty. For more information see Julie Kay’s article in it’s entirety on McHale’s site here
4. Ed Okun and Laura Coleman trial dates set for January of 2009
The saga continues as more money is being recovered, fewer players are left standing, and the victims remain holding the bag!
Ed Okun and accomplice Lara Coleman, somebody the mystery caller mentioned months ago as “going down”, face a 27 count indictment as handed down and reported by Gerald McHale this past week. The indictment laundry list of counts:
In the face of this indictment, the fact reported by Mark Heschmeyer that one of his buildings (Shreveport) has natural gas deposits valued at $30-60million-something he can’t touch, and the possible collapse of his marriage and network of friends, it is rumored that Ed Okun has been placed on suicide watch.
Here is one of the only pictures available on the internet of Ed Okun (far right) during a press conference announcing the sponsorship agreement with Foyt Racing. Photo courtesy of Foyt Racing.
Note: This conference was in 2006 long before it was public news that Ed Okun’s wealth was derived from the ponzi scheme known as 1031 Tax Group and affiliates:
IBS affiliateWX1112.comGreensboro Winston-Salem, NC published this deansguide article June 21, 2008
The plot continues to thicken as swindled investors scramble to recover what few pennies exist from their embezzled 1031 exchange funds, many representing investor life savings, in the fallen Ed Okun 1031 Tax Group “Ponzi” scheme.
IBS published this deansguide article June 17, 2008 for the Greensboro Winston-Salem, North Carolina NBC affiliate
Editor’s Correction: The RICO lawsuit filed by Anita Hunter against Ed Okun was actually filed in May of 2007 not May of 2008 as originally reported. Apologies to all parties involved. In May of 2007, I was just beginning to report on the Ed Okun 1031 Advance connection and the overall scheme of his 1031 Tax Group actions. I missed this very noteworthy item as my focus had not shifted to the 1031 scandals rocking our country until later on in the summer of 2007
The fact of the matter still remains that Ms. Hunter is the only victim to attempt this action to our knowledge.
Ed Okun was sued in May 2007 by victim Anita Hunter under the Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act aka RICO. RICO was the major weapon wielded by Rudy Guiliani in his fight with the Mob in New York.
Analysis: It looks like somebody was calling this crime exactly what it is and what it was during it’s commission–a conspiracy. With all of the government’s power, money, and time, it still took a Okun victim to drop the hammer with the one law he should have been charged with in the beginning-RICO.
RICO Act and the Department of Justice:
“It is unlawful for anyone employed by or associated with any enterprise engaged in, or the activities of which affect, interstate or foreign commerce, to conduct or participate, directly or indirectly, in the conduct of such enterprise’s affairs through a pattern of racketeering activity or collection of unlawful debt”
1. Plantiff Anita Hunter is suing Defendant Ed Okun, Okun Holdings, Inc., Investment Propertities of America, LLC and Richard B Simring 2. Cases Filed In: Northern California Federal District Court 3. Case: #5:2007cv02795 4. Filed: May 30, 2007 (correction) 5. Office: San Jose 6. County: Santa Clara County 7. Presiding Judge: Magistrate Richard Seeborg 8. Presiding Judge: Hon. James Ware 9. Referring Judge: Magistrate Richard Seeborg 10. Nature of Suit: RICO other statutes 11. Cause: 18:1962 Racketeering (RICO) Act 12. Jurisdiction: Federal Question 13. Jury Demanded By: Plaintiff
According to US Trustee Gerald McHale’s latest notice the following developments have taken place for the upcoming June 11, 2008 Fee Application hearing. This hearing is taking place to review the application for payment of fees by the many entities that are being utilized by the Okun victims in their fight to recover their stolen monies. The following is from McHale’s June 5th notice:
“PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that the Honorable Martin Glenn, United States Bankruptcy Judge, has authorized counsel and parties appearing in this case to attend and participate telephonically, via Courtcall, in the hearing to be held before the Court on June 11,2008 at 11 :00 a.m. (the “June 1 1 Hearing”) concerning the First Interim Fee Applications for Allowance of Compensation and Reimbursement of Expenses of (i) Gerard A. McHale, Jr., the Chapter 11Trustee.”
The first round of negotiations of fee applications begins as the monies being sought for victims again take a hit. It seems like everyone wants to get paid but the people most deserving are getting nothing and have lost the most.
The list of stories about Ed Okun just increased by one with the following candid and eye opening comment left on deansguide. The comment by, Alden Chevlan, a man who was being wooed by Okun’s organization for a position in their legal department is all too familiar. Tons of money thrown around, no business sense, a suspicious lack of business acumen and a sad case of spending other people’s money for fun.
“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.”