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.

Realtor’s Blog Video Tool #1: MakeInternetTv.org Your Complete Source For Video Production

Ben Cope of epicwebstrategies.com provided a powerful tip with his succinct post about one of the most valuable one-stop shop sites for information on how to produce your own videos:Make Internet TV.” In fact Ben, who bills himself as the “Internet Genius”, summarized the value of Makeinternettv.org:

“Interested in creating your own video podcast or internet TV show, but don’t know where to start? The MakeInternetTV guide has step-by-step instructions for shooting, editing, and publishing online videos that can be watched and subscribed to by millions of people!”

Included on the makeinternettv.org site are step by step instructions in the following:

1. Video Equipment: What to use and how

2. Shoot: Camera basics and techniques how to shoot your video

3. Edit: 3 rich video tutorials on how to edit video using PC, Mac, or Linux platforms

4. License: information on how to license your video work via Creative Commons or Copyright

5. Publish: How to publish your work on your blog using video services like youtube or blip.tv or utilizing video blogs a instruction manual on how to place your video on your blog.

6. Promote: this shows you how to set up your RSS subscription feed button and a very valuable piece onengage the network

Realtor Career Evaluation Tool #1: Understand Your Options, Chart Your Destiny

Susan Hanshaw of personal development firm inner architect is publishing a book “Inner Architect: How To Build The Life You Were Designed To Live” devoted to helping Realtors become aware of their challenges, find the courage to confront the idea of change, and take the final step by implementing an intentional plan of action.

“The Apprentice Contest” is a first step in giving Realtors and Brokers the opportunity to review Chapter 1 now and Chapter 2 of “Inner Architect: How To Build The Life You Were Designed To Live” in the near future.

The Benefits of Ordering Your Free Copy of Chapter 1

1. Chapter 1 “Cultivating Your Mind to Consider Change” helps readers learn:

a. Identify Clues that tell you if your job is no longer working for you
b. Get Clarity about how well your job is working for you
c. Understand what this means to you personally
d. Recognize what your choices are
e. Identify which choice you really want to make
f. How prepared you are to make a change
g. Your personal steps needed to prepare you to create your change

Susan provides guidance through steps, questions, and measuring tools (reader exercises) which provide the foundation for the reader to honestly self evaluate their situation.

More importantly to the reader is the fact that Susan has lived and walked the walk of change in her life. She abandoned a very successful 20 year direct marketing career as a Vice President to create a better life.

Woven throughout the book are her personal accounts, and struggles, of leaving a career that no longer fit her life. In addition to Susan’s story, she fortifies the book with stories from former coaching clients, students of her workshops, friends, and family. This collage paints a truth for many readers who can not help but identify with many of the scenarios in the book.

Final Analysis: Chapter 1 “Cultivating Your Mind to Consider Change” provides the building blocks and awareness to help you understand the value of an open mind (awareness) and believe in your right to live an “ideal” life in or beyond the real estate industry.

Okun Attempting To Terminate Asset Transfer Agreement According To 1031 Tax Group Victim: “Indentured Servitude” Never Looked This Lucrative

Due to the litigious nature of this entire mess I am presenting the following comment as a service to the victims of the 1031 Tax Group. This comment is the sole opinion of the commenter–deansguide has no responsibility nor supports or opposes this comment. If you have read this blog you know how I feel–

For a true look at “Indentured Servitude” please go to the soulsurvivor channel on youtube.com for the real story.

The following comment was a reaction to my February 8, 2008 article, “California Victims of 1031 Exchange Rip Offs And Industry Professionals: You Better Look At This SB 1007 And Make Your Voice Heard Or Forever Hold Your Peace”, by long time reader, and Okun victim, Beth Callanan. It is a surreal yet real life drama unfolding and what Beth has to say should be very interesting to all 1031 Tax Group victims of Okun. Read this entire post to understand the how corrupt Ed Okun appears to be in this case.

The highlights or low points depending upon your stomach for absolute idiocy:

1. Okun is trying to “terminate” the Asset Transfer Agreement signed by him and his wife. Reasons sited– The Okun’s believe that the US Trustee breeched the ATA by failing to negotiate a “living allowance” and forcing them to live in AND I QUOTE BETH HERE “indentured servitude.”

“BRAVO! AMEN!! Couldn’t have said it better!

Thank you,
Beth Callanan (aka “Okun Victim”)

By the way, your readers might be interested to know that Okun has had the temerity to submit a motion to the Bankruptcy Court to terminate the Asset Transfer Agreement signed by him and his wife in October. The ATA is a pathetically inadequate vehicle supposedly intended to result in “restitution” to those whose exchange funds he absconded with (inadequate since he had freighted all those “assets” with debt before transferring their skeletal remains to the Trustee!). The premise for his motion is that the Trustee has breached the terms of the Agreement by failing to prevent others from going after the assets he was allowed to keep (his two manses valued by him at more than $20 million and his Hummer and Lambourghini!) AND (and this is really the best part) because the Trustee has failed to negotiate a “living allowance” for Okun, spouse and spawn (I told you this was good) such that they are now forced to live a life of “indentured servitude” (I kid you not — verbatim from the motion!) — although the abject level of “servitude” to which the Okuns have been subjected apparently allows for the acquisition of yet another vehicle — specifically, a Porche he has not yet surrendered and has asked to purchase from the Trustee. Not only that, but his victims will all be thrilled to know that the brilliant financier whose empire was built Ponzi-style on funds taken illegally from others has offered the Trustee his services to help manage the financially dessicated wasteland of properties he has so generously transferred to the Trustee. Be still my heart!

There is a hearing on the motion in NYC on Monday (Feb 11) that I suspect will be very well attended since Judge Glenn has commanded that Okun, the lovely Simone and their attorney actually appear and be prepared to testify! Anyone wanting to read the actual text of this travesty should go to the Committee website at http://www.committeeinfo.com/1031/case_dev.htm , go to “court documents, scroll down to “Pending Motions” pour yourself a stiff drink grab a big box of hankies and begin reading everything in “3. Motion to Vacate Order Approving Transfer Agreement.” It’s a real tear jerker.”

Feb 8, 11:01 PM— California Victims of 1031 Exchange Rip Offs and Industry Professionals: You Better Look At This SB 1007 And Make Your Voice Heard Or Forever Hold Your Peace