A Look Back: Ed’s Sentencing Brief: Letters of Support

Unlike Joel’s letters of support, these seemed a lot less…cloying and mentioned more about Ed’s history, which we tend not too see much of.  I didn’t actually see red when reading them.

Ed started his accounting career in the 1960s, working for a firm. Later, he and another person at the firm opened Tax Master Inc. They later sold the business. In 1980, he moved his family from New York to California to start his accounting firm.

His two of his sons own a restaurant together.  This restaurant is within walking distance of Ed’s firm.  I know that there was a theory bandied about that the restaurant was started using fraudulent funds from the NASI scheme.  Considering that the restaurant was started in 1988, a good eight years before NASI began, I think it’s safe to say that the theory is dead.

Onto the quotes!

It was offered to me as an investment at the very beginning………and I know it has had bad consequences on a number of people. I analyzed the proposal, it didn’t make economic sense to me, so I passed and it was never mentioned again.

First of all, I would like to point out that this guy uses a letter (either a capital “i” or lowercase “L”) instead of the digit “1” two times in his letter.  It’s disturbing.  They’re nowhere near each other on the keyboard.  Why?  Just WHY?  Don’t dare blame horrible transcription or OCR, either!  You still proofread!

Like I said, this is juicy.  Unfortunately, it has nothing to do with the inability to type 1963 properly or even with the excessive use of ellipses.  The guy writing the letter is a former lawyer.  And he has been in the “investment banking / investor relations business” since the sixties.  This comes on letterhead for a company that does strategic planning and corporate marketing.  And yet, when he was approached with with this scam he simply “passed.” Oh, by the way, this guy, his firm and his partner were all Ed’s clients.  A little digging and it seems that Ed had a habit of mixing businesses.  I will likely need to make another post covering this after more research.

And we have some proof that Ed was “in on it” with Joel’s early 80’s lottery scam:

Eddie would have an occasional land & stock deal that he would mention and would ask if I wished to participate.  Sometimes I did. He never coerced me to do any. I either made money or eventually broke even on every entity.

This means that within four years of moving to California, Ed was hooked up with Joel and selling unregistered securities in a scammy industry. Onto other letters.

As a result of his actions, people lost money.  I know that he paid back most of the money and that his goal is to pay all the money that was lost back.

::cough:: What?  Last I heard, the scam was $125 million.  He is on the hook for $125 million in restitution, along with Joel.  That means that between the two of them all that money is owed.  Whether it ends up 60/40 or 50/50 or 0/100 doesn’t matter. If Ed had paid back “most” of that money, then the restitution checks mailed out from the US Treasury would have been significantly higher.  Or is he talking about the money that he personally profited?  Like the $300k a year in salary, plus the company paid car, plus the money he drained out of the account as the scam was unwinding. I sincerely doubt he’s paid most of that back.  The salary alone would have totaled $4.5 million.  How about the $5 million that disappeared in Panama?  Are we counting that, too?

If Ed told this person that he had paid back most of the money, then that really says a lot about his character post-scam.

Also, what says a lot is another letter which speaks of when this person saw Ed in January 2015.  For context, this person is a lawyer.

He briefly explained the trouble that he was in with his partner. I suggested that he state the fact about his level of involvement. His response: “I will not throw my friend under the bus. That is not the kind of man I am”.

I honestly don’t know if Ed did much selling of the fake ATMs.  But from everything we’ve read, he was quite involved.  He handled all the financial aspects of the business: threatening the bank, shuffling money between accounts, the books, issuing checks, the taxes and the depreciation of fake assets on the taxes.  Yeah, I mentioned taxes twice.

Now, there were a lot of letters. Far more than Saint Joel got.  And the types of people writing them were a little surprising.  A lot of attorneys and clients.  His lawyer was also smart, putting his wife and then children right at the top.  That being said, there are some themes that are a bit odd to me.

It is constantly pointed out among letters from friends and family how dependent everyone is on Ed.  His wife is wholly dependent.  His children don’t make big decisions without him.  His boys opened a restaurant within walking distance of his business and he visited them every day to help out.  After his mother died, he moved his dad from NY to California (this might have just made good sense).  After she completed college, he convinces one daughter to come back home while pursuing a different career path then gets her a job with one of his clients.

On top of that, he convinced one of his sons to take his family and move out of his own home and rent it out to a family who lost theirs in the economic kerfuffle of 2008.  His son and his family then moved back home with Ed.  That was both nice and disturbing.  It’s nice to move out of your own home and rent it to someone so they don’t go homeless.  It’s weird to convince someone else to do it.

He did free tax returns for those with issues, like an immigrant whose filings were done so badly that she feared deportation or for a woman with cancer. He paid for a client’s car to be fixed.  He left one client waiting for him while he tried to negotiate a lower mortgage rate for another client. He helped people who were delinquent with the IRS.

He also anonymously picked up restaurant bills for families who appeared to have disabled children. WTF is their focused on the disabled?  Joel befriended a disabled boy when he was young and Ed picks up checks for families with disabled kids.  That’s…actually pretty offensive to keep focusing on the disabled and then waiving the “charitable to the disabled” flag. Where does Ed get off not only diagnosing disabilities in children he’s never met, but also determining their economic status and telling them that they looked like they needed his help?  I will not rant about this, I will not rant about this, I will not rant about this.

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