Comment of the Day: Former West Oaks Mall Owner To Retire in New Home

COMMENT OF THE DAY: FORMER WEST OAKS MALL OWNER TO RETIRE IN NEW HOME [Edward H. Okun] has been in jail since he was arrested by the Feds March 17, 2008. This week he was convicted in a Richmond, Va. Federal Court of 23 counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, money laundering, bulk cash smuggling and perjury the maximum sentence for which is 400 years so ‘Fast Eddie’ will die in a federal prison. All those charges related to his having ‘borrowed’ $126 million in 1031 exchange funds he was holding in escrow for 350 clients across the country. His cohorts and co-conspirators had previously pleaded guilty 10 years (Lara Coleman) and 5 years (David Field and Richard Simring) — all former employees (CCO, CFO and Counsel to) IPofA, Okun’s supposed real estate investment company. His defense tried to describe him as a business man with a plan that failed. West Oaks Mall would be just one example of Okun’s brilliant investment acumen. More indictments likely to follow.” [E. H. Callanan, commenting on JCPenney at West Oaks Mall: To the Bank]

2 Comment

  • In terms of corporate corruption, apparently Enron was only the tip of the iceberg.

  • With apologies to all the honest, decent developers out there, the real estate development business has long had a history of corruption, fraud, and deception. From the Florida real estate scams of the 1920s, to the S&L/developer shenanigans of the 80s, to many that are coming to light today. There is something about land and real estate that attracts the gullible and the sharks that prey on them, and the fact that development is so often tied to local government creates plenty of opportunities for graft and corruption, both petty and grand.