Lawyer: Olson should pay

  • court/crime

  • Aaron Olson

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Wednesday, October 26, 2016 6:45PM

The prosecutor in the case against Aaron Olson stood firm on the stance that Olson should pay back $22.8 million to those he defrauded.

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.

Mark Zuckerman filed a response with the United States District Court on Sunday, arguing that Olson should not be entitled to a one-percent broker’s fee recommended by the defense, as Olson’s victims did not agree to pay it in the first place. 

“Assuming [for the sake of argument] that the defendant provided a legitimate service to his victims for which he is entitled compensation, he should be held to the terms of the fee agreements he entered into with his victims,” said Zuckerman, who said Olson’s agreements stipulated he would be entitled to a percentage of the profits. “Since none of the victims earned profits, under the terms of the defendant’s fee agreements, he is not entitled to compensation for ‘investing’ money.”

Zuckerman also disagreed with altering Olson’s restitution payment schedule while he is jailed, as it would prevent the United States from being able to “use statutory collection tools to prevent the defendant from liquidating or alienating assets he currently owns or may own in the future.”

Title 28, United States Code, sections 3203-3205 would allow the United States to execute, garnish, or file installment payment orders if it was discovered that Olson had assets or if he became default in a payment plan, according to Zuckerman. If the court suspended payments until after Olson served time, Zuckerman said the United States would be prevented from using the above collection methods. 

“Ordering a stay of the defendant’s restitution payment obligations would deny the victims any hope of recovering their losses while the defendant is incarcerated and would allow him to position himself to be asset free when he is released from prison, rendering him effectively collection proof,” said Zuckerman. 

Zuckerman’s recommendation is to have restitution due and payable immediately after the restitution hearing scheduled for Oct. 31. Zuckerman said Olson has assets to pay restitution, which includes partial ownership of an operational granite quarry.

“Apparently, he also has assets to pay for his legal defense, and to maintain a home and provide for his family’s needs,” said Zuckerman. “He has not shown that he lacks the present ability to make substantial restitution payments and he has not shown why some of the assets at his disposal should not be used for that purpose.”

Zuckerman also corrected some financial amounts listed in his memorandum, which was filed on Oct. 12, saying that the amount of money Olson stole from his victims should be amended from $24.7 million to $25.6 million. Zuckerman said the defense and prosecution do not agree on the amount of money Olson received or invested. 

Nicholas Handy can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 235 or nhandy@ledgertranscript.com. He is also on Twitter @nhandyMLT.