"Edward Okun's investors trusted that he would keep their fundssafe," assistant attorney general Lanny A. Breuer says in anannouncement from the Department of Justice. "But evidenceintroduced at trial showed that Mr. Okun instead used thoseinvestor dollars to finance a lavish lifestyle and to grow his ownbusiness holdings. Today's sentencing provides a measure of justicefor those who lost so much to Okun's deceit."

"Because of Edward Okun's crimes, many victims in this caseexperienced near financial collapse and personal pain," US attorneyDana J. Boente adds in the DOJ announcement.

The government sought a sentence of as much as 400 years. In itssentencing memorandum, the government argued that "unlike otherrecent high-profile fraud prosecutions, Okun's victims never askedthe defendant to invest and risk their money. Instead, the victimsentrusted their money with the defendant relying on the defendant'spromises that he would hold their money safely in bank andescrow accounts for a short, defined period of time." Thememorandum also states that "To date, Okun not only continues torefuse to accept responsibility for his criminal conduct, but alsocontinues to make misrepresentations that he did nothing wrong andblames others for his criminal conduct."

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