02/25/2013 // West Palm Beach , Florida, US // JusticeNewsFlash // Justice News Flash // (press release)
Beaumont, TX – Miami businessman Edward Okun, 61, is pleading for legal help with getting his 100-year prison sentence for a purported Ponzi scheme overturned. Okun, who alleges government interference may have led to his being unable to pay clients of his 1031 tax deferral company prior to his being convicted of conspiracy, wire fraud, money laundering and additional charges in 2009, was accused of defrauding clients of his Richmond based businesses $126 million. The former businessman insists that prior to an investigation by the government into the use of funds acquired through his 1031 tax deferral company, he had secured funds to pay clients who were part of a group of investors who lost money in the midst of Okun’s legal battles, but the probe led to the blocking of a loan and depletion of his funds.
Prosecutors in the case purported that Okun, who was represented by a public defender after signing all of his assets over to bankruptcy court, led a luxurious lifestyle afforded by the theft of funds clients turned over to Okun’s tax deferral business. The type of exchanges is the business was reportedly designed to facilitate are allowable in accordance with Section 1031 of the United States Revenue Code to defer recognition of capital gains or losses. Okun; however, maintains that he acquired business wealth prior, having spent 35 years in real estate prior to the purchase of his tax deferral companies, and asserts he did not initiate a ponzi scheme to cheat his clients. Okun also purports that there were accounting discrepancies that led to questions about the use of the funds due to the actions of two people who worked with him who admitted to taking funds without authorization.
One of Okun’s major claims with regards to why he feels a new trial is warranted in his case is because he says the tax code of regulations did not place restrictions on the holdings location or use of money exchanged under the code during the outlined waiting period at the time, and therefore he was not in violation of the law. He says his case compares to that of another 1031 exchange company, LandAmerica, which was found to have operated lawfully with regards to its contracts and holdings of client funds, and comparable to the manner in which operations were carried out by Okun’s companies. LandAmerica subsequently closed its doors after being faced with liquidity issues pertaining to exchange fund investments of clients, who purportedly also lost money as a result.
Okun is currently incarcerated at the United States Penitentiary in Beaumont, Texas and is requesting that any legal advocate who may be able to provide assistance with his case write to him directly at:
Edward Okun # 81060-004
United States Penitentiary
P.O. BOX 26040
Beaumont, Texas 77720
Or email an advocacy group he has reached out to the Concerned Citizens for Racial Equality at [email protected] for more information.
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