Monday, December 11, 2023

Virginia Beach business owner sentenced to 10 years for $3.9 Million fraud

A Virginia Beach man was sentenced Thursday to 10 years in federal prison for money laundering in connection with a fraud scheme that resulted in a loss of at least $3.9 million.

According to court documents, Edward Zinner, 58, operated Ocean Equity, a collection of businesses that engaged in credit card processing and merchant cash advances. In operating Ocean Equity, Zinner and others acting on his behalf, provided false representations to private investors and lenders to get over $4.5 million in funds.

In addition to the $4.5 million, Zinner obtained six business loans for Ocean Equity in the amount of $3 million. In getting these loans, Zinner falsely represented that the loans would not be used for personal, family, or household purposes, according to acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia Tracy Doherty-McCormick.

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However, Zinner spent large amounts of company money on personal expenditures, including, travel, gambling, day-trading, renovations to his home, personal credit cards, and others.

From 2011 to 2016, approximately $2 million was transferred from the Ocean Equity accounts to Zinner’s personal accounts, according to court documents.

Zinner closed down Ocean Equity in early 2016, and at the time he still owed at least $3.9 million in business loans and loans from private investors/lenders.

The Court sentenced Zinner to the statutory maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release. Zinner was also ordered to pay more than $4 million in restitution to his victims.

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