Ed Okun Attempting Appeal For Freedom November 5: Victim Instructions Here

Newsflash: Ed Okun is attempting a final bid for his freedom with a renewed appeal for release. The news came from original Ed Okun “Train Wreck Victim” Elizabeth Callanet. This is an outrageous and disturbing turn of events that every victim should be aware is happening. Elizabeth’s request is in accordance with deansguide’s approval as one of the only sites certified to deliver important information to the victims of these heinous crimes. The following is Elizabeth’s message in it’s entirety:

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“Okun’s renewed appeal for release pending his criminal trial in Jan will be heard in Richmond this Wed, Nov 5, at 1:30pm (New courthouse address: 701E. Broad St. 7th Floor). If any victims plan to attend they should let Kim Ulmet, the Victims’ Assistance Specialist ( contact information provided below). She’s very helpful and informative about the players and the proceedings and will ensure victim’s get to the right courtroom and/or know if the hearing has been delayed, relocated, etc.

In addition, several of Okun’s victims are asking the Court to permit telephonic participation (i.e. a service that would permit Okun/Coleman’s victims around the country to listen to the criminal proceedings by phone) since, thanks to them(Okun-Coleman), none of the them (victims) can afford to actually travel there! Any victims having interest in listening to the trial by phone (there is a cost, but it applies only to the length of time during which one listens, and one could listen to some or all of just some sessions and not others), they should write to the court asking that they approve of using that service (a first for this court jurisdiction).

Write, FAX or email letters to Kim at the address below and she will make sure they get forwarded to the appropriate office:”

Kim Ulmet, Victim/Witness Specialist
United States Attorney’s Office
600 E. Main Street
Suite 1800
Richmond, VA 23219
Fax (804) 771-2316
email: kimberly.Ulmet@usdoj.gov

Very Important Notice to Okun Victims Regarding Your Address:

“On a final note, 1031 victims are receiving in the mail copies of a proposed settlement between the Trustee (McHale) and Cordell. Any victims who have not received it, should write to McHale, the Trustee at jerrym@trustee1031taxgroup.com , to let him know that he ( and perhaps the bankruptcy court) don’t have your address/or your correct address. To ensure the Bankruptcy court has your correct information, also write to:”

Kathleen Farrell-Willoughby
Clerk, U.S. Bankruptcy Court
One Bowling Green
New York, NY 10004-1408

“It is vitally important they have your contact information if and when there is any kind of of settlement (we shouldn’t all hold our breaths!) and to receive these updates in the interim. Many of the court documents are available on the Trustee’s website at:”

http://trustee1031taxgroup.com

A big thank you to Elizabeth for her announcement. Our hopes and prayers are with all the victims for some good news in these tough times!

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Vesta Strategies “Sales Pitch” Marketing Information They Forgot To Pull?

Information about Vesta Strategies LLC is beginning to come into view–and the view is quite ugly. Attempts to find old information about Vesta on the other hand is difficult to find. Yet with some digging, reminents of their marketing campaign can be found. The following is a pitch found on a social networking site for a Vesta Strategies employee:

Vesta’s Sales Pitch

“Just as McDonald’s doesn’t actually sell hamburgers, Vesta Strategies LLC doesn’t really sell 1031 exchange solutions. We sell personal service. For most anyone who utilizes the services of a qualified intermediary or accommodator, peace of mind and security are of high importance. As an established national provider of 1031 exchange solutions, Vesta Strategies LLC differenciates itself from the competition through personal, hands-on service. In addition to my own expertise, cour clients can draw from our large offering of resources in legal counsel, real estate practices, title questions, NNN leases, DST’s, and TIC’s.”

Final Pitch

At Vesta Strategies LLC, we specialize in virtually anything related to 1031 exchanges. We provide expert information about how to structure exchanges, how to find replacement properties, and whether or not an exchange makes sense for you on a particular transaction.”

Has A New Ed Okun Arrived On The 1031 Exchange Scene: Vesta Strategies LLC Staggers From Wall St. Journal Story

In another apparent blatant rip off of 1031 exchange investor funds, Vesta Strategies of San Jose, California “has closed its doors, leaving investors scrambling to recover millions and pointing to flaws in the largely unregulated industry” according to the Wall Street Journal report “Behind the Boom and Bust of Real- Estate Player Vesta.”

Do we have another Ed Okun 1031 Tax Group on our hands?

The Founders

Chicago businessman John Terzakis and partner Robert Estupinian were the principles at Vesta Strategies. They founded Vesta in 2004 amid a firestorm of legal problems

History

According to WSJ’s Kris Hudson’s report:

“Mr. Terzakis had a history of failed real-estate deals and soured relationships — information Mr. Terzakis isn’t required to disclose to potential clients. Now the two men are accusing each other in separate lawsuits of diverting millions of dollars from Vesta for personal use.”

The Losses Sound Familiar

Christina Pappas a California investor, a familiar story to the “Trainwreck Victims of Ed Okun”, is out $2.5 million she handed to Vesta in April 2008 from the “sale of a property.”

When Ms. Pappas found a replacement property, another building, to purchase within the IRS’s 180 day exchange period, she requested her funds be wired in order to close the deal. To her utter horror, but familiar to the people following this industry, Ms. Pappas maintains that the “Vesta representative failed to wire her money to complete the property exchange by the June 16 closing, and still hasn’t done so”

The Numbers

According to WSJ story, Mr. Estupinian was quoted as saying that “Vesta Strategies held $10 million to $30 million in client money at any one time.” Okun like no, but no small sum of money in any case

Vesta Infighting And Meltdown

In a scene worthy of Ed Okun, the two principles Terzakis and Estupinian ended up in court with Terzakis initiating the legal action.

Mr. Terzakis allegations included

1. Estupinian misappropriated several million dollars of Vesta’s money for his family’s use

2. $96,000 salary for Mr. Estupinian’s wife, who allegedly did little work for the company

3. Expenditures on a $1.3 million house

4. A $160,308 oceanfront apartment in Long Beach

5. $50,000 for a pair of dogs-doesn’t everyone have $50,000 twin dogs?

6. $42,795 in tuition toward Mr. Estupinian’s doctorate degree-education is expensive

The Countersuit by Mr. Estupinian

1. Embezzlement of about $25 million and the following quote by Mr. Estupinian:

“Beginning as far back as 2000, John Terzakis has been treating the client funds as his own personal piggy bank in order to fund his many personal business and development projects”

Final Final

If this does not sound like the Okun case it certainly sounds like a close facsimile to it. The bottom line for Ms.Pappas and fellow investors serviced by Vesta Strategies could be the same fate suffered by Okun victims: no return on investment, IRS nightmare tax bill, and the prospects of a lost retirement fund spent in a lavish lifestyle befitting a crook

“Generally Accepted Accounting Principles”: How Do Consumers Evaluate Bank’s “Statement of Condition” Advertising Plea?

Today’s banking industry climate, with mortgage meltdown disasters laying waste to financial institution books, demands consumers pay attention and perform due diligence before depositing their hard earned monies. The following ad has a unintended “Enron” feel to it in my opinion.

In what may become a defense mechanism brought on by the IndyMac Bank failure and “run” lines reminiscent of the stock market crash of 1929, local small bank Luther Burbank Savings of Northern California has gone on a reputation management campaign in local print media. The campaign has a simple message–we are solvent and in good shape therefore don’t be afraid to deposit money with us.

“Statement of Condition”

This is an advertisement comprised of a letter to customers touting the “exceptional year 2007 was for the bank with deposit growth of 24%. The statement also addresses the bank’s 25th Anniversary and how “relationships developed. . . are among our most rewarding results.”

Assets

This section of the add gives a accounting line item breakdown as follows:

1. Cash & Securities: $14,569,000

2. Loans Receivable: $2,968,032,000

3. Other Assets: $69,430,000

Bottom Line= $3,052,031,000

Liabilities & Capital

Deposits: $2,129,633,000

FHLB Advances: $642,811,000

Other Liabilities: $21,126,000

Capital: $258,461,000

Bottom Line= $3,052,031,000

Note-Disclaimer :The ad features in tiny print the disclaimer as follows: “This unaudited statement is prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles.

Analysis

Does this disclaimer really mean that they can twist the numbers in any fashion legally to make them look more solvent? Is this institution fooling itself? Fooling consumers? Or is this a form of advertisement we will see moving forward for every banking institution?

In my opinion this type of advertisement, in the face of the Enrons and cooked books business culture we have suffered through in the past, is nothing more than meaningless fluff.

Why fluff? Because for this ad to have ANY validity they should have two independent accounting firms, with no PRIOR contract work with Luther Burbank, conduct separate audits for transparent and objective information. That would be the only believable scenario in my opinion

Miami “Dadeland Massacre” 1979: “The War On Drugs” Begins

Please read this article before viewing the historical starting point of the US “War on Drugs”

Wikipedia/GriseldaBlanco cited this article 4-9-10

In what was described as the worst violence in a US city, making Al Capone’s 1930’s Chicago look like a “Church Sunday Picnic”, July 11 marks the 29 year anniversary of the Miami “Dadeland Massacre.” The massacre was the flash point and resulted in the beginning of what was later labeled “The War on Drugs” by then president Ronald Regan.

Miami circa 1979

Miami became the most dangerous place to live in becoming the “Drug Capital of the world” with 100,000 persons involved in the drug trade. Drug lords killed each other fighting for their turf as they killed their opponents to control their territories.

July 11, 1979 2:28pm

Three Mac 10 machine pistol toting “hitters” opened fire on their targets, two rival cocaine dealers shopping at Crown Liquor store, killing the rivals and spraying over 100 .45 and 9. millimeters rounds. The shooters continued to spray the parking lot as they exited the store in a scene homicide detective Al Singleton described as “Dodge City” and “the first public shot in the cocaine wars.”

Griselda Blanco aka the “Godmother of cocaine” and more notoriously “the black widow” ordered the hits and was responsible for a chain of events which developed into the “Cocaine Wars” fought by the “Kings of Cocaine” ( see the book for reference) Miami’s version of hell on earth

Time Magazine

Time Magazine published the article “Paradise Lost” in November of 1981 and it was the major piece that blew the lid off the truth about the wide spread homicides and mass murder that was Miami in the late ’70’s continuing through the 1980’s.

TIME MAGAZINE NOVEMBER 23 1981 PARADISE LOST S. FLORIDA
Historians
If you want to explain to your children why the “War on Drugs” is being fought, where and when it started, and the history of this country’s continued fight against murder and mayhem you only need to look at the Dadeland Massacre of 1979. . . and follow the blood
The Players

Pablo Escobar

Photo by Oscar Cifuentes
Dadeland shooter Jorge Rivi Ayala
Jon Roberts associate to George Jung Miami Cocaine Kingpin and subject of the movie “Cocaine Cowboys”
Cold hard cash: Miami’s US Federal Reserve reported a “surplus of 5 Billion dollars” from drug trafficking
Mickey Munday Smuggler Pilot worked with Jung, Roberts and Barry Seal
What they were fighting over The Product-Cocaine aka blow, yeyo, toot, whiff and many other names

Webby Award Winning Viral Video Of Our Times: Richterscales Comical View of “The Valley”

The following video by the Richterscales.com is a comedic look at the dot.com bust to Web 2.0 boom. This video was the Winner of the Webby Award for Viral Video!

Although it looks like a complete goof, it is a decent timeline and roll call of events and companies that have become the giants or has beens of this new era called Web 2.0

Consider this a supplemental and fun educational video to understanding what is happening to our world.

Newsflash: Denver “Okun Victims” Sue Former IXG Founders

IBS affiliate WX1112.com Greensboro 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.

A concerned “citizen” sent the following link to a June 20, 2008 Denver Business Journal storyEx-clients sue IXG founders in 1031 Tax Group Bankruptcy.” According to writer Renee McGaw ex-Okun employees Daniel and Shirley McCabe are the subjects of the lawsuit and controversy.

The McCabes were the original owners of the Investment Exchange Group (IXG) in Denver until Okun purchased the business in August of 2006 through his 1031 Tax Group business.

In the Denver Business Journal article Jeffrey Cohen, attorney for Denver based victims of the McCabes and Okun, stated:

We believe that the McCabes misused and mishandled funds that were under their control”

Main Source

http://www.bizjournals.com/denver/stories/2008/06/23/story3.html