Olson ordered to pay in full

  • court/crime

  • Aaron Olson

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Tuesday, November 01, 2016 6:42AM

A U.S. District Court judge has ruled that Aaron Olson must pay back every penny of the $22,811,405.26 he defrauded investors out of while conducting a Ponzi scheme from 2007 to 2012.

At a restitution hearing Monday morning, Judge Landya B. McCafferty ordered that Olson pay back all money he defrauded from 81 different investors, due immediately.

“We will do the best we can to get the money back to the victims,” said prosecuting attorney Mark Zuckerman, in an interview Monday.

Olson was sentenced in April to five years in federal prison, with an additional three years of supervised release and a $400 special assessment, after pleading guilty to four counts of tax fraud. Olson’s plea deal also stipulated that he pay restitution.

Olson is currently serving out his prison sentence at FMC Devens Correctional Institute in Devens, Massachusetts.

Olson’s attorney, Inga Parsons, argued that the restitution amount should be dropped from $22.8 million to $17.2 million. Parsons argued that Olson should not have to pay back money lost through legitimate investments and that he should be entitled to a one-percent broker’s fee.

Zuckerman said that if Olson cannot pay the entire amount, each investor would be given a percentage of what he could paid until everything was paid back.

Under Title 28, United States Code, sections 3203-3205, Zuckerman said the United States can execute, garnish, or file installment payment orders if it is discovered that Olson has assets or if he became default in a payment plan.

Restitution of $22.8 million represents the aggregate loss suffered by all of Olson’s victims who are asserting their rights.

Overall, it is reported that Olson swindled people out of about $24.7 million, but some people chose to waive their rights to restitution.

Olson received $42.9 million from would-be investors from January 2010 to February 2012 while only investing $17.2 million, according to court documents filed by the prosecution.

The remainder of the money, according to Zuckerman, was stolen from investors to be used for other purposes like included paying purported “earnings” to some of his investors, covering withdrawals of principals, supporting his own lifestyle, and other similar uses.

According to documents filed by Parsons, Olson lost 24-percent of the money given to him by purchasing and selling options and trading in commodity futures through E*Trade.

Accounting only for the money Parsons said Olson invested, he lost nearly 60-percent.

Zuckerman said he is unsure if Olson is currently able to pay off the entirety of the restitution, as he is unsure exactly how much Olson currently has in assets. Zuckerman knows that Olson is the part owner of a gravel quarry in Fitzwilliam but declined to comment about how it may fit into the payment plan.

Zuckerman is also unsure at this time whether Olson will be filing an appeal.

Nicholas Handy can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 235 or nhandy@ledgertranscript.com.