The Edmond Sun

Business

July 2, 2014

Cops investigate $20,000 embezzlement case

EDMOND — Edmond officers are investigating the reported embezzlement of $20,000 by the victim’s business partner, an incident report stated.

During the morning of June 10, Edmond Police Officer Tim Owen spoke with the victim at the station who said he wanted to report that a business partner had embezzled money from him, Owen’s incident report stated.

Owen stated the suspect, whose name was redacted in the report, was first introduced to the victim by a financial advisor in London in 2012. Owen stated the suspect and the victim had several conversations during the ensuing two years, but no business dealings.

Earlier this year, in March, the suspect contacted the victim and said he was putting together a loan package for two clients and there was room in the application for an additional $200,000 loan commitment, Owen stated.

The suspect asked the victim if he would like to participate as a trial for a larger transaction in the future, Owen stated. The terms were that the initial fees, $20,000 for the underwriting and loan fees, which were to be put into an escrow account to be used only at closing, Owen stated.

Owen stated the victim insisted on additional terms — a three-week time restraint on the transaction and if the loan didn’t fund the money was to be immediately returned to his bank and to ensure this the victim has the suspect give him power of attorney on the escrow account to be activated upon non-performance.

On April 3, the parties signed contracts and communication from the suspect continued to be that all paperwork was completed and awaiting signatures from his New York credit line, Owen stated.

April 28, the victim received email from the suspect’s partner stating the suspect was ill and in the hospital, Owen stated.

May 16, the victim checked the escrow account and was informed there was no money in it, Owen stated. Furthermore, all the funds were withdrawn within days of the deposit in small amounts and used for personal expenses including movie rentals, groceries, utility bills and living expenses totaling the $20,000 wired back in April, Owen stated.

When the victim confronted the suspect via phone, he was told the funds were “fronted” from his other account and combined with money from the two other clients, Owen stated.

When the victim insisted on the return of his investment or the loan closing, the suspect became extremely upset that he had checked the account and threatened to not fund the project, Owen stated.

No other account has been located and the victim insisted that the suspect return the funds or close the loan, Owen stated.

During his investigation, he learned the suspect had multiple legal problems from Florida and neighboring states for alleged fraud, contract breach, as well as criminal contempt in a Florida district court, Owen stated.

No arrests have been made in the Edmond case, according to the incident report. Police spokeswoman Jenny Monroe said the case is being handled in Florida, the jurisdiction for the criminal activity.

marks@edmondsun.com | 341-2121, ext. 108

 

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