The Rise and Fall of Richard B. Simring, Esq.

Richard B. Simring is not someone you would expect to be charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and money laundering in a multi-million dollar scam.

Simring was a rising legal star and a well respected leader in his community.

The son of an attorney, Simring was valedictorian at Hollywood Hills High School in Florida, a magna cum laud graduate of Princeton University in 1988 and a 1991 summa cum laud graduate of George Washington University Law School.  

Following law school, Simring served as law clerk for Rosemary Barkett, the former Chief Justice of the Florida Supreme Court.  He then developed a successful legal practice in the areas of insurance, banking, and securities, specializing in complex business litigation and winning multi-million dollar verdicts. He represented banks, insurance companies, and financial institutions in reinsurance and insurance disputes, bad faith claims, state and federal RICO actions, securities class actions and broker/dealer arbitrations.  He became a partner in the prestigious law firm Stroock, Stroock & Lavan and then in the law firm Jorden Burt.

Simring actively used his success to benefit others.  He was a prominent figure at Miami fundraising events; charities, schools, and professional organizations were proud to have Richard B. Simring on their side.

He served as Chairman of the Board of Voices for Children Foundation, Inc., a Miami charity that raises money to advocate on behalf of abused and neglected children. He often spoke to legal and community groups about representing abused children in court.  He contributed to the Miami Lighthouse for the Blind, and he served on the board of directors for Educate Tomorrow, an international charity that works to make education an attainable goal for the disadvantaged in Miami and throughout the world, with particular efforts in the impoverished African nation of Niger. He took an active part in Princeton alumni organizations. He donated money to his law school and served as a volunteer on its advisory board of directors. 

Then he met Ed Okun.

According to the federal indictment, Simring first came into contact with Okun in November 2006, when Okun consulted him about legal issues involving the transfer of client funds in Okun’s 1031 Tax Group LLP (1031TG), a 1031 exchange qualified intermediary scam operated by Okun. 

The indictment does not claim that Simring knew that 1031TG was a scam, or that Simring thought that Okun wanted anything other than legitimate legal help in making sure that his activities were lawful. 

In fact, the indictment states that Simring conducted a legitmate and independent investigation of Okun’s activities with 1031TG and told Okun that they were illegal and needed to be halted until the exchange agreements were changed to allow the transfer of client funds and there were sufficient assets to cover client exchanges as they came due.  Simring also told Okun that doing this would not rectify what Okun had done in the past, but only reduce the liklihood of criminal charges.  Okun told Simring that he would follow his advice and change the exchange agreements and pay back the client exchange funds.  Simring then told Okun that if he failed to do this, he would probably go to jail.

A month later, Okun hired Simring as the Chief Legal Officer for Okun Holdings.  Simring was to be paid a salary of $850,000 and given a signing bonus of $100,000.

The indictment then alleges that in March 2007 Simring became aware that Okun had not followed any of his advice and was continuing to transfer millions of dollars from client exchange accounts into his personal bank account.  Simring also learned that 1031TG was on the brink of insolvency. Simring then “confronted” Okun. Okun assured Simring that he was fixing the problems and was in the process of paying back 1031TG.

By April 2007, the financial situation of 1031TG had become dire and Okun’s scam was on the verge of coming part.  1031TG was no longer able to fund exchanges or pay back clients. And the people whose money Okun had taken were calling and demanding explanations.

This appears to be the point at which Simring went from being Okun’s attorney to his co-conspirator.

According to the indictment, Simring now participated with Okun and others in lying to clients, telling them that their funds were secure.  Now also Simring apparently joined Okun in attempting a “holding action” against client inquiries and complaints, including making “lulling” payments to clients with money misappropriated from other clients.

In late April 2007, 1031TG’s CEO resigned and Okun appointed Simring as interim CEO.  Okun then directed Simring to transfer approximately $8,000,000 in client funds into Okun’s personal bank accounts.  According to the indictment, Simring complied.

Three days later, Simring resigned.

Why did Richard Simring become a co-conspirator of scammer Ed Okun?  Why didn’t he walk away once he learned that Okun wasn’t following his advice and continuing to engage in criminal activity?

Perhaps it was the money — although it seems that Simring had no trouble making money legally.

Perhaps he was caught up in his client’s bunker mentality once it was clear that the enterprise was collapsing.

Or perhaps Simring fell under the spell of Okun’s swindler charm.

We will likely never know why Richard B. Simring, Esq., legal star and community leader, appears to have thrown away his career, his honor, and the respect of his colleages and community.

He may not know himself.


Read Richard Simring Pleads Guilty — Set to Testify Against Ed Okun.


Read Wachovia Sued for Millions in 1031 Exchange Fraud.

64 responses to “The Rise and Fall of Richard B. Simring, Esq.

  1. richard willis

    if you investigate a little further, you will find that Simring knew Okun further back than 2006. he represented Okun in a lawsuit in Florida against mini-mobile.

  2. B. Stuart Cogan

    richard willis are you a victum of Edward Okun’s fraud?

  3. richard willis

    In a way, I suppose I am. I am a former Okun employee. I was employed by him since 2001 when he bought the building I was caretaking at the time.

  4. Before you so blithely absolve Simring of deliberate complicity or sympathetically excuse his criminal behavior as a momentary lack of judgement because he was held in some kind thrall by the charms of Edward H. Okun (have you SEEN Okun? He looks like a troll!), you and your readers should know that Okun and Simring go back to Dec 2003 when Simring represented Okun in a court case that won him a $7 million judgement. (See

    So, Okun and Simring were hardly new acquaintences when they began conspiring in the 1031 scheme. For a telling profile of the man outside the public eye that sharply contrasts with his do-gooder image, you should also read the Sean Velarde affadavit about Simring provided in connection with a court case involving the Colorado Capital Bank and Investment Exchange Group (IXG) one of Okun’s 1031’s.

    In it, Velarde, the attorney for the former owers and then managers of IXG (fired by Simring), describes Simring’s visit to their Colorado offices on April 25, 2007, (3 weeks prior to Okun putting all the 1031’s into “bankruptcy” because he’d depleted all the exchange funds for his own personal use) and Simring’s efforts to get IXG to relinquish to Okun the last remants of exchangers’ funds held anywhere by the 1031’s Okun had acquired. In his affadavit, Velarde testifies that Simring stated that “…Edward Okun had treated customer 1031 exchange funds on deposit with The 1031 Tax Group…as ‘his personal candy store.'” and that Okun “…viewed his aquisition of IXG as the purchase of an ‘unregulated bank.” Verlade testified that Simring also said “Mr. Okun viewed the acquisition of IXG’s $100 million (in exchangers’ funds) for $7 million as ‘the cheapest money Ed ever bought.’ ”

    In addition, Velarde testifies that “Mr. Simring complained that the McCabe Group would not have to worry about breaching customer agreements if only they had used the new customer exchange agreements that he had prepared as general counsel for The 1031 Tax Group earlier this year because the new agreements would have permitted Mr. Okun’s use of the exchange funds.” According to Velarde, Simring “stated that he was so satisfied that the actions he was requesting of me and the Mccabe Group were not attendant with risk that he accepted a $1 million per year salary to become in-house General Counsel to The 1031 Tax Group on January 1, 2007, with his primary mission to solve Mr. Okun’s problems from the borrowings of 1031 exchange client funds.”

    Of course, despite all that, on the last day of his visit to Colorado, Simring in fact did fire all the IXG managers because they persisted in refusing to relinquish any more exchange funds to Okun. On April 27, 2007, Mr. Velarde’s law firm, Burns, Figa & Will, PC, issued the following press release about that situation: “Greenwood Village, CO – April 27, 2007 – Michael J. Norton, a senior partner of Burns, Figa & Will, P.C., and a former United States Attorney today announced that IXG employees Dan McCabe, Shirley McCabe, Pete McCann, Drew McCabe, and Chad Greenberg had been terminated as employees of The 1031 Tax Group on April 26, 2007, at about 5:30 p.m. McCabe and his colleagues were fired when they refused to authorize the transfer of segregated exchange funds to The 1031 Tax Group for its use in covering unrelated 1031 exchange obligations.

    “In the 24 hours before we were terminated, Richard Simring, newly appointed CEO of The 1031 Tax Group, told me that, Ed Okun, the owner of The 1031 Tax Group, viewed The 1031 Tax Group as an ‘unregulated bank’ and as his ‘personal candy store’ so that he could use exchange funds at his pleasure. The use of exchange monies for other than a specific, dedicated exchange is not consistent with the high level of moral and ethical standards we have set for ourselves and for the 1031 exchange industry,” said Dan McCabe.

    The Investment Exchange Group (IXG) was acquired in August 2006 by The 1031 Tax Group based in Richmond, VA. The 1031 Tax Group is a wholly owned subsidiary of Okun Holdings, LLC, Richmond, VA. Okun Holdings, LLC, is owned by Edward H. Okun, Miami, Florida.

    “When Richard Simring demanded that we give him control over all clients’ segregated and designated exchange funds to enable The 1031 Tax Group to meet its obligations to other exchange clients, we refused to do so at which point we were terminated from our employment with The 1031 Tax Group,” continued McCabe.

    Dan McCabe has nearly 33 years of experience as an attorney in real estate and construction law. He completed his first 1031 Exchange in 1977. In 2002 and 2003, he served as president of the Federation of Exchange Accommodators, and is currently a member of the FEA Board of Directors.

    “In the 24 hours before his termination, Mr. McCabe, with our assistance, sought assurances from Richard Simring and Ed Okun that client funds were secure and could be accounted for. Such assurances were not provided. During this time, Mr. McCabe and his colleagues Shirley McCabe, Pete McCann, Drew McCabe, and Chad Greenberg, all based in IXG’s Denver office, learned that funds would not be available to return to some clients as scheduled and that funds of other clients may be at risk. We have been informed that a federal criminal investigation of Okun Holdings, LLC, relating to the use of these client funds is underway. We are cooperating in that investigation in an effort to protect client funds,” said Norton. ”

    One can hardly construe the actions that Simring himself boasts of (accepting a $1 million salary as General Counsel to The 1031 Tax Group and then rewording exchange agreements to make it EASIER for Okun to pillage exchange accounts despite fully recognizing, by his own description, Okun’s use of those accounts as “unregulated banks” and a “candy store” and then threatening and eventually actually firing the IXG staff for refusing to turn over the final tranche of exchange funds so Okun could continue to misappropriate them, as anything but the actions of a fully informed and willing co-conspirator — exactly as he is construed by the criminal court in which he pleaded guilty. Consider also that he KNEW the $1 million salary he was being offered by Okun was stolen from 1031 exchange accounts because he KNEW there was no other money with which to pay it. He gave no thought whatsover to his victims — single parents, retirees and other innocents whose lives have been wrecked. You wonder why he did it? He did it for the money!

  5. To E. Callanan: Thank you for your detailed post.

  6. It is impossible to determine why Richard became involved with Okun in January 2007, four years after he represented him in court, but I guarantee it was not for financial gain or criminal purposes. His earnings as a partner with a pestigious law firm was only slightly less that what he earned with Okun.

    I have known Richard since grade school and he has proven himself to be completely honest, moral, ethical and trustworthy.

    The fact that a law may have been broken does not necessarily indicate that a crime was committed. Richard is a victim of his own wordly innocence having no previous contact with criminals and con artists such as Okun. A brilliant lawyer as he is he had no knowledge that in his minor participation for a very few days, and after Okun did all of the damage without Richard’s involvement, that he may have been involved in criminality.

    His complete innocence is proven by his being completely candid during his visit to Colorado. He made no attempt to lie or deceive and told the entire truth, as hurtful to him as it turned out.

    I suggest that before any person passes judgment on Richard they know the facts and that his plea of guilt is inconsistant with violating any criminal stautes.

    In fact he pled guilty because the Asst. U.S. Attorney prosecuting the case identified Richard as an easy mark … told Richard that all others involved with Okun are pleading guilty (which was untrue) and that unless he pleads guilty he will be sentenced to 20 years in prison but that with a guilty plea he wll be sentenced to no more than two years

    Richard receiving horrible legal advice and being frightened by the threats made by the government and at that time obviously not thinking clearly agreed to a plea.

    A feather in the cap of the Asst U.S. Attorney who has no concern for guilt or innocence. His only concern is to win at any cost which in this case destroys the life of a remarkable member of society from which he will never recover.

    Tantamount to a death sentence for no conceivable reason other than to help the prosecutor in his career.

    The true disgrace in this scenario is the government who played to Richard’s fears and diminished capacity after being hounded by the prosecutor and in the opinion of all who know Richard the plea should be withdrawn and Richard should defend himself at trial. He most certaintly will be exonerated.

    Richard Simring is as far removed from being a criminal as is a saint. His previous exemplary conduct and lifstyle is testament to this.

    A friend of Richard Simring

  7. Dear Friend of Simring, You are being stupid. How can a supposed legal genius be dupped by slick Ed? He knew. Or, he wasn’t as smart as you think either. He lied to a judge in a California case that he had nothing to do with the day to day operations of 1031 Tax Group, when in fact, he signed and initiated demands to move money. He’s a liar and pleaded guilty because the government has him on more than is publically known now. Take a look at the California case where he is being sued and you’ll find Simring’s own signature on commands to move money. That’s what the government is getting him on. Plus, lying about it. Since he is a liar, it’s not that surprising that he is lying to you. He is lucky to have a friend like you, but you will be judged by the company you keep. You make the choice.

  8. Dear Sir

    When one is under the influence of a master con artist he tends to lose his judgment and common sence. The best of us have been so taken and abused.

    Additionally whatever Richard did during his few days as CEO was at the direction, request and orders of Okun.

    Should Richard have signed incriminating documents? Absolutely not.

    Did he do this with criminal intent or knowledge?

    Again, absolutely not.

    Richard did not become a thief and change his persona in a few days of his 42 years of excellence.

    Whatever stupididy he did was actually based upon his mind being clouded by Okun (remember Okun stole over one hundred million dollars from many intelligent people before Richard’s involvement) and most important had no monetary gain except his salary and bonus which was only slightly higher that he earned as a partner in his law firm.

    On a personal note Richard was suffering from a diminished capacity preventing him to grasp Okun’s intentions which problems are of a personal nature and I am not at lberty to disclose.

    If you call Richard a liar because his lawyer or himself interposed denials to allegations contained in a civil complaint in California you should be aware that it is common practice for lawyers to deny all incriminating allegations in every complaint. They admit nothing at that phase of litigation but if Richard testified at trial or deposiion he will not lie.

    Richard is not a liar or a thief. He was duped, conned and then victimized by the govt with the good guy/bsd guy interrogation which in his niavete and diminished capacity Richard gave up despite his innocence.

    His only diversion from the truth was his plea of guilt made because of false inducements by the govt. and very bad legal advice.

    Friend of Richard Simring

  9. Again, such a quote “brilliant” attorney could not lose their mind like that. Therefore, he’s a thief of not so brilliant.

    Furthermore, if Okun gave him a gun and directed him to shoot someone, would he do it? Especially since he is an attorney he was given ‘more points’ for his crime. He is educated and knows better. Anyway, the DOJ is correct. Simring is not a fool. He knew to take the agreement because there were bigger consequences for him.

    Plus, it’s not like he was fooled by the client. Come on! He was the attorney. With the 2 lawfirms before him (or more) who wrote their legal opinion and quit immediately, Simring even had a enormous hint complete with case law that told him not to touch this with a ten foot pole.

    Negligence is a crime, too. Ignorance is no excuse for the law either. How in the world was Simring duped or conned? The case law presented by the previous attorneys told him that what they were doing was wrong.

    I think you are the one being conned. And if you are Simring himself or a relative, then I suggest you seek professional help for being in such denial. An “I’m sorry” would work better. Not the age ol’ finger pointing or ‘it wasn’t my fault’ excuse. It’s old already.

  10. The probem is when you have an opinion that a brilliant mind cannot be impaired. This belief is not shared by professionals in the field.

    Many noted brilliant persons were and are impaired and some are medicated and still function well and brilliantly in society. I suggest that Richard Nixon is an example as was Johnson.

    If you really believe that an impaired person cannot be duped by a super con artist give me your address and I will send one over to you with costume jewelry valued at $10.00 and he would leave with all of your assetts.

    I guess that you would love to sit on a jury and decide that the defendant is guilty just because he is charged.

    No opinon can be formed without knowing all of the facts and your opinions are based upon no knowledge except newspaper reports.

    That is how Hitler rose to power with the aid of Himmler.

    Friend of Richard Simring

  11. I’m sorry, but Ed was never a super con artist, merely a run of the mill greedy businessman that drug down a lot of good people with him. I worked for the man and saw many excellent people used and thrown away by him. I was in Florida and saw first hand Ed trying to dig himself out of this mess. Richard Simring, at that point, was acting for his old client attempting to right Ed’s wrongs to the best of his abilities. Everyone who worked for Ed at the time was convinced that there was a bail-out in the wings, in the form of new financing. Ed had been bailed out like this numerous times in the past, and it seemed at the time that this would be no different. I feel sorry for Richard being caught up in this web, but sometimes being in the wrong place at the wrong time can cost you dearly, as he is finding out.

  12. All persons interested in Richard Simring

    Please e-mail me at:

    Thank you

  13. Richard Willis

    How can a non super con artist steal over 100 million dollars?

    How could he dupe Simring who has not a dishonest thought in his mind and would absolutely never become innolved in criminality?

    I ask that you and others believe in his innocence and reach out to him to offer help and advice that he desperately needs.

    Simring must be psychologically evaluated, wihdraw his guilty plea which makes no sense and is inconsistant … it makes him guilty of conspiracy with Okun in stealing over 100 million dollars … even though Simring joined Okun after the damage was done and did not profit.

    Simring was in a state of diminished capacity when he joined with Okun and had no criminal intent.

    You are correct… being in the wrong place at the wrong time could be bad but does Simring deserve to be branded a felon and disbarred?

    This is a lifetime sentence to a truly innocent victum.

    Thank you

  14. I don’t have to be on a jury to decide if Richard Simring is guilty. I don’t have to wait for another group of 12 to decide if he is guilty. Richard Simring already told us that he IS guilty.

    Does he deserve to be branded a felon and disbarred. Richard says yes. End of subject.











  16. No matter what our individual emotions are, either towards Richard, Ed, or the case itself, it should be understood by everyone that Okun is a thief. He has stolen money. He has stolen lives. He has taken things that we can’t see and are only measured with psychological scales.

    I say this in order to pay attention to what matters most. A man such as Okun has to be put away at all costs. Richard’s case is a way to aide in this objective. The government knows this and is willing to do what it takes. This is a war of sorts and casualties will be had had whether the man on the wrong side is a “good guy” or not.

    Yes, Richard has family problems. Yes, he made professional mistakes. Yes, this makes for a possibility of clouded judgment, con artist involved or not. These are not arguments but confounding statements with emotional bias attached to them.

    Friend of Simring,

    I understand you know his personal life. I have had a taste of it myself. It is far beyond seeking help and in the bounds of mediated control. Being a friend is knowing when to stand up for them as well as knowing when the harshest of happenings can be a lesson for them, thus staying quiet and standing by them is of more help than anything. Counsel your friend, not those with minds made up on the legal premise of their situations.

    Those with counter points,

    Every one of you has a great luxury. That is to see this from the outside. Instead of arguing to those on this website, explain the complexities of these types of situations to your children and friends. Warn them of such atrocities still in existence. Make the active effort of ethical translator, not the passive attempts of unending deliberation on a web-site. I understand initial attempts were not for this purpose but that is what it has become.

    I must admit I was shocked to see an article describing Richard as it did. I was unaware of his extracurricular involvement. He did many great things for the community. The sad part is that many great men of the community should have started their efforts at home. His children were done a great disservice by his absence. Their futures will be a clinical mess without him but others around them are there to make sure the children’s’ lives are as enriched as possible with the love and development they need.

    Richard decisions have detrimental affects. Whether it was for money or some other intrinsic variable, the legal process is no longer in his favor. He is but a small player in a larger game. His sacrifice must be had in order to accomplish what is really at stake. An unbridled man with enough resources to regrettably be let go. With genius in any capacity, its ill use causes destruction in many lives and at all levels. Disregarding willingness, Richard’s life will be one more added to Ed’s list. We hope this smaller case brings about a righteous outcome for the one who is truly, criminally insane.

  17. Dear Inside Out,

    So it appears that you are prepared to sacrifce Richard for the good of society

    How noble.

    Would you feel the same if it was your mother, father, brother, sister, son or daughter facing undeserved lifetime punishment?

    Nobility and what is the best lesson for society is a theory when put into practice mny times fails when the punishment exceeds the events.

    i must respectfully agree with your sentiments but disagree with your conclusions. Life is too sacred to be sacrifced for tribute.


  18. Another Shill for Dick

    As another person who has known Richard since college, I’m willing to vouch for his integrity and fundamental goodness. Like his other friends here, I’m surprised at what appears to be a major, if momentary, lapse in judgment on his part. And very, very sad about the external stressors that may have lead to such a lapse.

    Note that none of Dick’s friends here are saying he didn’t do anything wrong, just that (a) whatever he’s alleged to have done wrong strikes us as wildly out-of-character, and (b) the punishment he’s facing is far out of proportion to his alleged crimes.

  19. DEAR Shill for Dick,

    Why don’t you:

    a. contact and support Dick. Learn what happened from him to be fully informed.
    b. contact the prosecutors in Virginia with your thoughts.
    c. Contact the Judge with your opinion.

    Please contact me at:

  20. I know not whether Richard is guilty or innocent in this matter. What I will tell you is a small personal story involving him on a professional level.

    Years ago there was a con artist in Florida who had run numerous scams. When he tried to run one in my industry I warned everyone of the scam. The unethical company sued me for using the word “scam.” It didn’t matter than the Attorney General of Florida was hot on their tail and wanted my assistance, it didn’t matter that they were indeed running a scam — I was now being sued.

    An attorney in my state suggested I call Richard and to this day I’m glad I did. Richard saved our butt and hardly charged us anything. It was a testament to the man that he chose to take on our case, fight it well and didn’t begin to cover his own costs. Through the entire process Richard was friendly and encouraging. For a small business owner — it was exactly what I needed and I can’t thank him enough.

    Richard — if you’re reading this, my thanks to you. I sincerely hope there is a light at the end of the tunnel and that you come out okay. My prayers are with you. God bless.

  21. Dear Kelly,

    Thank you.

    These comments should be mailed to:

    Judge Robert J. Payne
    1000 East Main Street CRIMINAL CASE NO.
    Richmond, VA 23219 3:08er 321

    Copy to Michael Dry, Asst U.S. Atty
    Same Address

    Copy to Brian Tannebaum Richard’s attorney in Miami, Florida

    Copy to Murray Janus, attorney in Richmond, VA.

    Sorry I do not have the attornies addresses handy.



    I invite you to contact me at:

    and we will exchange ideas for the purpose of extricating Richard from this predicament which is ruining his life with no fault attributable to him. He is not guilty.

    Richard is a victum or prosecutorial abuse and with a group of supporters bringing this to the attention of the court the possibility exists that the government may dismiss all charges notwithstanding his coerced plea of guilty.

    It is sinfull for Richard to be criminally punished under the circumstances that exist and he needs your assistance.

    and a very close relative who knows the truth

  23. The sad part of this”Yaco Tiamo “, is the best next target, if you think that “Richard” was to smart to fall under these scammers, you need to stear clear. Those that judge so abruptly, often find themselves in similar situations. It’s time that we start standing by our fellow americans, and stop all the finger-pointing, and negitive assumtions, this is the reason americans are where we are. We instead should have compassion, and let the Judges judge. There is a reason that you are not sitting in that “throne”, in the courtroom, and thank the Lord for that!!!


    I may not be too bright but your message is somewhat unclear and confusing.

    Can you restate it so that a simple person can understand your intent?


  25. As a personal friend of Richard’s for the past 11 years, I have to reiterate the points of Friend of Richard’s thoughtful, truthful and thorough posts. If I may make a few points:

    * Richard is a litigator – all he does is initiate or defend Complaints. He did not structure, set up, administer nor run Ed’s companies or activities or financials.

    * Ed was previously a client of Jorden Burt, a prestigious law firm that presumably vetted him prior to Ed ultimately making an overture to Richard.

    * Richard worked for Ed for FOUR MONTHS. Four months!

    * The Feds never alleged that Richard knew about Ed’s illegal activities. Ever. Never. They also never alleged that Richard deceived Ed’s investors. Never. Think about that.

    * When the Feds came down on Ed, the pressure that was placed on Richard was unbearable. I disagree that he was given bad legal advice – 4 of the best attorney’s money can buy told him they could likely exonerate him. The legal tab for his defense? THREE TO FOUR MILLION DOLLARS. Richard doesn’t have $4 million. Not even remotely close.

    * With a baby on the way, issues at home, and staring down the barrel of a $4 million, three year legal process plus perhaps a 10-15 year sentence if convicted, he took the deal for his family. His family. Nothing more complicated than that.

    It should be noted that this heartbreaking chain of events, where an innocent man has been gutted by the Feds, is only compounded by who Richard IS: A man of IMPECCABLE integrity, achievement, extraordinary intellect, and profound goodness; A man who was voted by his peers as one of “100 BEST attorneys in Florida” numerous years; A man dedicated to helping abused and neglected children every spare waking moment; A man who loves his family unconditionally.

    It’s extremely unfortunate that Ed’s victims lost money. It’s unfortunate that people confused Richard’s role as a defender of his client in meetings and attributed it to complicity. The whole thing is sad.

  26. Dear Mister Dirk,

    Thank you for our thoughtful , excellent, concise and correct analysis of Richard’s situation.

    True, Richard is the father of a three month old baby girl, Lucy, in addiion to his 6 year old son.

    I have personally been trying to have Richard withdraw his plea which he made under undue duress by the prosecutors. Richard does not want the hassle.

    For some irrational reason, in addition to money, Richard would rather be a convicted felon, disbarred and face the definite possibility of imprisonment.

    He is not thinking clearly and not using his experience and common sence and just gave up.

    The justice system has failed Richard and this must change.

    Also true Richard has little money remaining and presently is suspened by the Florida Bar and is unemployed. His house will soon be foreclosed.

    Since it is clear that he was guilty of no criminal acts he must fight the charges. He also must be made to realize that their is an excellent chance that Ed Okun may plead … he has no defense.

    And if Okun pleads the govt will certainly dismiss all charges against Richard. They will never bring his case to trial especially with no evidence.

    His smartest move now would be to have a Federal Public Defender appointed, move to change his plea to not guilty and wait it out.

    If Okun does not plea his case is scheduled for January 2009 and he and Richard will be tried sometime in 2009 unless their are seperate trials.

    In any scenario Richard will be exonerated.

    I need assistance from people who Richard respects to advise him correctly.

    It is respectfully suggested that you contact me at:

    And perhaps we can come up with a resonable solution which will allow Richard to regain his ife, reputation, dignity and self respect. If you contact me I promise that you know only half of the story and I will enlighten you via e-mail, telephone or in person.

    Thank you again for your support


  27. Man, are you supporters being scammed now!

    1. He moved money and it was against the law.
    2. He was an attorney that should have know better and even read the previous attorney’s warnings.
    3. He ADMITTED it.
    4. He shows up to a appt with the Feds and admits to doing drugs in the last week. Hello??? That’s illegal, too. So, he still hasn’t learned the law even after indictment and being a felon.
    5. Sounds like you, too, Beth are like Simone. Support the criminal and YOU will be the one judged.
    6. Find the money and maybe someone will start to forgive the low life.
    No more excuses. If you can’t do the time, then don’t do the crime. Richard did the right thing in pleading guilty because he was/is. Now the right thing to do is ask for forgiveness and apologize. Not try to overturn the plea. There are hundred of people suffering and are good law abiding citizens.
    Sorry you’re married to a drug addict and felon. He authorized lulling payments. That’s against the law, even if someone tells you to do it. So is doing drugs.

  28. Dear Yaco,

    Unless you are fully informed on all of the facts please do not speculate a person to be guilty and ruin his life.

    We owe each other more than uninformed decisions before deciding on guilt.

    Thank you

  29. No, Richard Simring owes me my money. I have more facts than you do.

    What makes everyone so mad is that Simring plead guilty and not once do we hear: “I’m sorry.” or “I was wrong.” He’ll pick up his life and do something else. Big deal. Just like the rest of the HUNDREDS of victims that have to rebuild by no fault of their own.

    Be upstanding. Admit it, ask for forgiveness and live a life that you don’t continually have to hide. It is embarrassing for you and Simring now to try to wiggle out of the plea. Go ahead, try to find some excuse or some loophole. That’s what crooks do. It fits the character.

    What do you teach your kids? Lie but find an excuse? Cheat because you are above the others in the class? It appears this whole family has given Simring a lifetime excuses. We know about the brother. Time to move on.

    When I was young my parents said: “Just because Billy is jumping off a cliff, would you do it?” “If someone gives you a gun and says to shoot someone, do you do it?” Come on! Get help for yourself and give a little tough love, no excuses for the crook.

  30. Dear Yaco,

    It appears that all of your commets are tainted with subjectivity and hatred for Richard rather than:


    It would aid your argument if you would detail under what circumstances Richard owes you money .

    Instead of bad mouthing Richard and his family please share your experiences with him in this forum so that they may be reviewed and commented upon.

    Your obvious anger toward Richard is proof of nothing …. tell us what knowledge you have of Richard’s criminal behavoir warranting the punishment he is now suffering and will suffer in the future.

    Richard’s coerced plea is not sufficient to support your argument …. we all need to know the facts that you to date have not revealed.

    Freind of Richard

  31. Classmate of Simring

    I first found out about this situation when I glanced in the Florida Bar News this month under “Disciplinary Actions” and saw Richard’s name in a very small blurb stating that he was suspended from The Bar until further order of the court. I then did a little research and came across this article and the ensuing comments.
    I wanted to find out what happened and through the internet, I ended up here.

    I am an attorney in Florida. I also went to high school with Richard but never kept in contact with him after high school except for running into him a few times unexpectedly and exchanging greetings. He was always a very unique person.

    I wanted to remain completely ojective in researching this matter and I read everything here with an open mind.

    I do think that the comments by “Callanan” were very helpful from a factual point of view. Reading them, I certainly can see that Richard’s judgement was poor – not the the judgement of the same man I knew. His decisions were CLEARLY questionable.

    Until I read some of the articles, I did not realize how involved Richard was with the community and numerous charitable organizations. He definitely seems to have given back to the community and that is precisely why I cannot figure this whole thing out. My first reaction was that he sold out for the allure of very big money. But then why would he do that if he had such charitable impulses?

    I believe that in any profession, money blinds people in ways that we would have never expected or thought them capable of. Lets face it – a salary of one million dollars a year is hard to refuse. He could give his family a wonderful life beyond most people’s expectations. That does not make it right though and that is precisely when you have to say that “this may be too good to be true.” Especially in the legal profession, we must be careful to avoid those “deals with the devil”

    My point is that Richard was and still is an anomoly of sorts. He is a brillant man, a giving and charitable man, an excellent attorney, an amicable man —- and most importantly, just plain human. But just possibly, he may also be a man who got caught up in the allure of a superstar athlete’s salary and the allure of all that “bling.”

    I wish Richard’s family all of the best as well as the best for everyone who got taken by that shady parasite Okun who started this whole mess.

    Okun’s integrity, morals and principles were certainly abandoned in his quest for big money. I feel great sadness that his disease was contagious and quite possibly caught by an excellent attorney who may have let his guard down for just enough time to abandon good sense- for just enough time to make a mistake that was far more costly than the promised rewards.

  32. Dear Classmate of Richard.

    As Richard’s father I thank you for your kind comments.

    Your analysis is faulty on the major point. That is money being the motivating factor. If this is not true then, as the defense counsel said of Captain Queeg, there must be another reason.

    In January 2008 Richard was a partner with Jordan Burt earning $750,000 annually plus bonuses and perks. His $900,000 salary with Okun was not why he became counsel to Okun’s firm. After taxes the difference relatively is minor.

    So what happend. For a few years before January 2008 Richard’s wife was institionalized a number of times for drug and alcohol addiction. Richard became responsible for his young son and feared that the day will come when tragedy will strike.

    Okun offered Richard the freedom to work at home when necessary and not be tied to a desk 10 or more hours a day.

    Richard had to be home with his son.

    Additionally Richard did not benefit monetarily from Okun’s alleged theft and received nothing but his salary which Okun failed to pay the last month or so.

    Similar to Captain Queeg’s war time pressures, Richard’s pressure of his wife’s problem engulfed him and he made unwise decisions but he never intentionally or unintentilly made a decision to commit a criminal act.

    And he did not with a clear head agree to plea to crimes he did not commit and he did not with a clear head enter his plea.

    At all times of these events Richard was suffering from a diminished capacity so that his judgment was affected and impaired and was succeptible to the government’s threat of 20 years confinement unless he pled to 5 years later to be reduced to 2 years.

    The judge was advised by a letter from me, with copies to the government, of Richard’s diminished capacity and instead of delaying the acceptance of the plea and having Richard examined the court and the Asst. U.S. Atty ignored my letter and accepted the plea. In affect, I assume that the judge asked Richard if he was impaired and Richard responded in the negative.

    Should not the court or the government assure that the mental capacity of the defendant is stable before accepting the plea?

    The often told story about all prosecutors is their conversations that it is easy to convict a guilty man but the real win is to convict an innocent one. Win at any cost.

    Richard is innocent of all criminal acts notwithstanding his plea, which he refuses to withdraw being still fearful of the government and his continuing diminished caacity. His wife was released once again from rehab a few weeks ago after a month’s stay and is back on the bottle and drugs, drives drunk and imperils her son and infant daughter every day. Richard is home all day caring for his children. His wife is out of control.

    The answer is then not as simple as Richard’s greed which has nothing to do with the events.

    Father of Richard


    Regretfully I failed to address one additional issue in my original response.

    You conclude that Richard is guilty of criminal activity based on greed and relying on the Callanan comment above.

    I will not discuss the details of Callanan’s comment but suggest to you that as a member of the legal profession are taught that before a person can be convicted he must be prove guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

    If the other comments above do not create a reasonable doubt in your mind I can accept that. What I do not accept is that you believe in its entierty the Callanan comments without putting them o the test of cross examination to dteermine their veracity and credibility, whether other events occured during the times referred to which may dilute the tenor of the comments, whether Callanan has an ax to grind and is himself prejudiced and most important whether Richard was laboring under a diminished capacity.

    For a lawyer like yourself to decide guilt without putting to the legal test all of the evidence and subject it to scrutiny as prescribed by law is a shocking example of a “rush to judgment” and creates the appearance that our judicial system is faulty.

    After all, Callanan’s comments are hearsay based upon hearsay and consist mainly of his interpretation of what he read. He was not a witness and cannot testify to any of the actions that he discusses.

    Richard’s actions must be detailed by eye witnesses subject to cross examination and my experience is that after the witnesses’ testimony nothing will be black or white.

    Please do not jump to false conlsions.

    Past events always change based upon reviionist theory of history and we always must consider what is the truth … how many versions will their be to events?

    Father of Richard Simring

  34. Classmate of Simring

    It is unfortunate that you misunderstood my comments. At no time did I say that I was convinced that Richard was a criminal the likes of Okun. Quite the contrary, I stated that Richard appeared to be a man with charity and a sense of community in his heart. I further stated that for this reason, it made it all the more difficult to understand why he engaged in acts which were of very questionable judgement and choose to associate himself with Okun.

    I am sure that we can agree that it was not good judgement to jump on the sinking ship that Okun captained. IF RICHARD WAS MAKING ALMOST THE SAME MONEY AT A VERY REPUTABLE FIRM THEN WHY WOULD HE CHOOSE TO LEAVE THAT TO GO TO WORK FOR A PIRATE THE LIKES OF OKUN? I understand the argument of needing to care for his child but there are a vast number of other options to deal with those issues.

    At no time did I pass judgement on Richard or “rush to judgement” as you stated. Quite the contrary, I stated that his actions were anomlous and not grounded in the same good judgement that we would expect from a man with Richard’s stellar credentials.

    I will not judge Richard nor did I want to give the appearance that I was judging him. I am nobody to judge his actions. What I DID say however is that if he did stray from his ethical obligations then the only motivation that I could surmise was a monetray motivation. Now that you tell me, however, that he was making nearly the same money at a REPUTABLE firm, I can only conclude that his actions in leaving that firm to go to work for Okun were even more irrational than I first thought.

    I want to make it clear that I was not relying on the opinions of one Callanan in my attempt to figure out if Richard is “guilty” as you suggest. I will say however that if his comments are true (and he did state that affidavits were sworn out to these facts) that Richard was probably venturing into waters that he should have clearly avoided. If an attorney builds a venerable career like your son has then he must be exceedingly cautious to maintain his good reputation.

    Unfortunately we have engaged in a market without regulation where thieves like Okun can thrive. Okun and people like him in all levels of our economy have created the economic crisis we find ourselves in. They have completetly deteriorated the cornerstone of our system which is the confidence to invest without being robbed blind.

    I simply suggested that Richard got sucked into Okun’s world and that money appeared to be the factor. It is also quite possible that once Richard left his firm he may have realized that he made a mistake in taking up with Okun. He may have then felt trapped and as if he had no choice other than to comply with Okun’s directives (even if they were against good judgement) He knew he couldn’t go back to his old job and may have caved in. This could have been his motivation

    At any rate, not I nor anyboby else can take away the achievements that your son has accomplished nor his extradionary intellect.

    I just wanted to try and understand why an EXCELLENT attorney like your son would risk it all for that man. I did not want to judge him, I simply wanted to try to understand.

  35. Dear Classmate,

    Thank you for the clarification and I apologize for misunderstanding.

    But misunderstanding is the operative word.

    The truth to this scenario and Richard’s bizaar behavoir will never truly be understood and the best we can do is place as many pieces of the jig saw puzzle together to try to have a clear picture. I do however guarantee that we will find no criminal actions and a cloudy mind.

    The doors to Jorden Burt were always open to Richard since his partners knew that the Okun-Simring relationship was doomed ab initio. They told this to Richard but this may have made it worse. Richard may have tried harder to prove to Jorden Burt that he made the right choice. Obviously after criminal allegations, and only then, did Jorden Burt close its doors to Richard.

    The obvious option of a nanny-caretaker-live in maid, etc. could not be made because the situation with Richard’s wife was volatile when she was abusing alcohol and drugs and the caretakers they hired all left because of the household hostility.

    Richard’s judgment was impaired to the extent that although any effort to defend himself from the charges would probably (but we will never know) succeed, and if he did not succomb to the govt bullying the govt most certainly would offer immunity for cooperation, he would not be facing disbarment, incarceration and a felony conviction.

    Richard’s wfe is aware of my statements concerning her, accepts her share of the responsibility for his predicament and presently is, I regret to say, suicidal. Every day we wait for either somthing great or a tragedy. Only she can decide. All professional help has failed.

    Richard and I do not get along and never discuss this. I know that he should withdraw his plea because he was and is impaired. His position is that he fears the govt.

    What he needs are many freinds like you to talk with and explore all possbilities. I know that you were not close but your concern for an old classmate can be of significant help.

    If you e-mail me at: I will give you Richard’s contact information.

    Thank you.


  36. Dear Father of Richard Simring, You really need help. Let these ‘kids’ seek the help they need and stay out of it. Richard admitted to drug use too before going to court. His OWN. What? Was Okun making him do drugs, too? Maybe you can blame Beth for that or maybe he can blame his father.

    You blame Beth, you blame others, but you in no way say that Richard has to take his lumps. It’s disgusting. Richard himself has an estranged relationship with you and even with your letters to the court Richard said he was in his right mind.

    All of you people get your shit together. Take responsibility for your actions and seek professional help. Stop blaming others and fly right. Brilliance is as brillance DOES. He’s not brilliant if he does stupid things.

    And don’t tell me I don’t know the facts. I do. I personally talked to Richard as he was lying through his teeth. He lied to me and he’s lying to you.

  37. Yaco

    Please read all of the comments above and with an open mind and try to believe that this issue is not black or white and that the variables are sufficient to warrant further investigation.

    Ellis Simring

  38. Unbelievable.

    It seems that someone is having a hard time resigning himself/herself to the fact that someone they know and/or love may have done something incredibly stupid.

    As an attorney, I certainly understand and appreciate the intimidation tactics of prosecutors.

    However, if any of this is true – i.e., he was suffering some form of incapacity – then there is a mechanism for Simring to file a motion to rescind his guilty plea and file a new plea of “not guilty”. This, of course, has not been done.

    I have a hard time believing that Ed Okun is some ingenious con man that can control other’s minds.

    No, what likely happened is that Ed Okun lied to Simring initially about cleaning up the mess and, when Simring found this to be untrue, he decided to stay because the money was too good.

    Sure, he might have believed Okun’s lies – i.e., that the money would be repaid – yet, any good lawyer (which apparently he was) would understand that (a) merely paying the money back would have no bearing on whether a crime was committed and (b) any actions taken on Okun’s behalf could be construed as participating in a conspiracy to either further the crime or cover it up.

    This is what I cannot comprehend: as an attorney, I find it very hard to believe that another attorney would willingly accept a job with someone who had previously admitted involvement in a criminal scheme to defraud investors. Even if he had Okun’s assurances that he had “cleaned up his act”, no good attorney I know would accept such a job…. Why would you? The risk would be too great that either you would be caught up in the fraud or that your new employer would soon be out of business.

    The only thing I can think of is that the money was good and he thought that Okun would never be caught.

    From the statements of others involved, it appears that he was a willing accomplice in trying to cover up the fraud. If true, his act of helping Ed Okun pillage money from the various 1031 companies (knowing that Okun did not have the right to do so) clearly shows that he was more than just some unwitting accomplice.

    I don’t know who you are – i.e., relative or friend? – but seriously, you need to come to grips with the fact that Simring acted criminally. Don’t sit here and tell me that he is being railroaded.

  39. “Please read all of the comments above and with an open mind and try to believe that this issue is not black or white and that the variables are sufficient to warrant further investigation.”

    I did not lose any money due to Okun’s fraud. So, I am not emotionally invested in this matter. Believe me, my mind is “open”.

    However, it is black and white. Simring committed a crime. His role in the crime has been established (by his own statements).

    I don’t care whatever excuse you want to bring up – i.e., he was on drugs, divorce, temporary insanity ….whatever. It doesn’t matter. Those are not things that absolve him of any blame or guilt for the crime committed. At most, it just provides us with his motivation for committing the crime.

    In a criminal court, his motivation is irrelevant. So, to be honest, if that is the basis for your claims that he has been railroaded, please stop.

    There are people who lost significant amounts of money to this scam. To them, this was their future (some were counting on the money for retirement), they truly do not care (they may be interested) as to the personal motivations of Simring. All they know is that someone took something very valuable to them.

    Moreover, Simring is getting off incredibly light. His accomplices face much stiffer penalties. Coleman will get 10 years (and that is even with agreeing to testify against Okun) and Okun will, hopefully, be locked up for the rest of his life.

  40. Ellis Stewart Simring

    Dear Mark,

    If you will Google Richard to learn more about him you would ot be so quick to lable him a crminal.

    I will not dispute at this timeRichard’s brief involvement with Okun which occurred after the Ponzi scheme was over. If you read the Information the government admits that Richard’s “criminal actions … two …. occured during the last week or two before he left.

    I know that Richard had no intent to commit a crime but that is not in issue here.

    And I fully agree that the proper procedure is to file a Motion t Vacate the Plea which must (should) be supported with a report from a forensic psychologst.

    The problem is that Richard, my son, has lost his grip on reality and remains in a semi catotonic state which is known to the judge, prosecutors and his lawyers and family. Richard will not admit his disability and on questioning prior to accepting the plea he denied any problems.

    The court having been placed on notice that Richard has a dimimished mental capacity should have ordered a mental evaluation before accepting the plea which it did not.

    THE QUESTION is whether or not Richard had the mental capacity to understand his actions with Okun or his plea and it is the duty of his lawyers, the court and the prosecutor to have him analyzed.

    Richard’s income as a partner in an established law firm was slightly less that he received from Okun. Richard’s wife was released from another rehab last week and remains an alcoholic which is the major factor in Richard’s confused state.

    I pray that the probation officer before preparing the PSI and recomendation or judge orders psychlogical testing before sentencing but fear that a superficial analysis and judgment will result in the ruination of Richard’s life.

    In his confused state Richard would rather face a felony conviction, incarceration, disbarment and a complete change of life rather than admit his disability.

    Ellis Simring

  41. Ellis Stewart Simring

    Dear Mark,

    This is in direct response to Mark’s comments.

    If you will Google Richard to learn more about him you would ot be so quick to lable him a crminal.

    I will not dispute at this timeRichard’s brief involvement with Okun which occurred after the Ponzi scheme was over. If you read the Information the government admits that Richard’s “criminal actions … two …. occured during the last week or two before he left.

    I know that Richard had no intent to commit a crime but that is not in issue here.

    And I fully agree that the proper procedure is to file a Motion t Vacate the Plea which must (should) be supported with a report from a forensic psychologst.

    The problem is that Richard, my son, has lost his grip on reality and remains in a semi catotonic state which is known to the judge, prosecutors and his lawyers and family. Richard will not admit his disability and on questioning prior to accepting the plea he denied any problems.

    The court having been placed on notice that Richard has a dimimished mental capacity should have ordered a mental evaluation before accepting the plea which it did not.

    THE QUESTION is whether or not Richard had the mental capacity to understand his actions with Okun or his plea and it is the duty of his lawyers, the court and the prosecutor to have him analyzed.

    Richard’s income as a partner in an established law firm was slightly less that he received from Okun. Richard’s wife was released from another rehab last week and remains an alcoholic which is the major factor in Richard’s confused state.

    I pray that the probation officer before preparing the PSI and recomendation or judge orders psychlogical testing before sentencing but fear that a superficial analysis and judgment will result in the ruination of Richard’s life.

    In his confused state Richard would rather face a felony conviction, incarceration, disbarment and a complete change of life rather than admit his disability.

    Ellis Simring

  42. Ellis Stewart Simring

    Dear Mark,

    I do not know if my response will be posted but I respectfully request that you contact me at:

    with your e-mail address and I will be pleased to attempt to convince you of the error of your opinion.

    Thank you

    Ellis Simring

  43. Ellis Stewart Simring

    Dear Mark,

    I reread your two postings and must comment again.

    Your statement that you do not know who I am is consitent with a omment from a person who merely perused the postings and not really read and understood them.

    I clearly identified myself as Richard’s father.

    In addition, your comment that”temporary insanity” is no defense is clearly inconsistent to law dating back to the 1800’s.

    Please carefully read whatever you choose to comment on and as lawyer be sure of your facts and law.

    Ellis Stewart Simring

  44. To all who don’t know Richard,

    I don’t fully grasp the extent of the charges as I am (blissfully) too poor or too ignorant to fully comprehend high finance crimes, and I would not even attempt to guess why Richard plead guilty.

    I know only this. Richard is a decent man who has done a great deal of good for other peoples’ children, and it would be sad if he were not allowed to raise his own.

    Did he do something wrong? Hell if I know. But in the Great Balancing Act of Life, he probably would weigh on the side of right. If you do not know him, you wouldn’t know this.

  45. Ellis Stewart Simring




  46. Yaco, I see that you have been scammed by the Okun case as noted in your anger especially towards Simring. That is understandable, however your anger will only cause yourself damage. I’m not sure to what extent your personal knowledge of Richard is and I admit that mine is limited but I do have near daily interactions with him. To state that an intelligent person cannot be scammed is an ignorant thought. I am aware that Richard has personal issues and perhaps these issues were brought on by this mess or these personal issues caused him to briefly get involved in this mess. It is also ignorant to think that the government cannot have somehow coerced Richard in his guilty plea. One must be careful in trusting the government when it wants to get what it wants at all costs. Many of men have been innocently placed in prison for years, only to get a “I’m sorry” from the government and let free.
    The man is a father and perhaps with his experience and intelligence of the system knew that it was best to plea guilty than to possibly spend a momentous amount of time in prison and away from his children. Why should he tell you he is sorry? Richard has not been interviewed or the like, so do you expect him to call you to apologize. I guarantee during this legal process that he cannot and that he is refraining from speaking with media. I reassure you that Richard is sorry, not that I am apologizing for him.
    I am surprised over these charges Richard is somehow involved in whether guilty or not. He is a really great guy and we are all capable of mistakes and great blunders. I highly doubt that you have not in your lifetime have caused someone pain in some form or fashion, whether it be direct or indirect. Richard, especially as of late, is under tremendous pressure but what is the most heartbreaking is the fate of his children, which Richard I know must think of consistently. Despite this terrible change of luck on Richard’s part, he is truly a man that has done great things for many people and I pray that God and the Judge have mercy on him, at least for his children’s sake.
    So, you may know the written facts of the case, but you don’t know the facts as they have happened.

  47. praying for Richard and chidren

    Richard must have the “I can heal and help” soul. He stuck by his wife in hopes she would recover and he got involved hoping Okun would also change and right his dealings. We all have weaknesses and make decisions that we regret. Some are kept secret and some are disrespectfully publicized!
    At this time Richard must be devastated, his life is not his own and he has 2 beautiful little angels that he is solely responsible for. He needs to feel hope and support for the sake of these children.
    My mother used to tell me “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything”
    This man needs some peace and healing so that he may nurture his children.
    For anyone who does not know what has happened recently in his life…….. I will only say please back off with the negative comments and leave this be for awhile. You have no idea who will hurt if this continues.

    A Concerned Parent

  48. Ellis Stewart Simring

    Dear Undisclosed

    An addition to Richard’s loss of reality is the tragic death of his wife Beth on April 14, 2009.

    Richard loved her dearly and the children worshipped her.

    Beth was an outstanding person, scholar, lawyer, artist, dancer, singer, musician and was loved by all. Her loss makes Richard the sole caretaker and bread winner which adds additional emotional pressure.

    Richard cared for Beth during thier marraige and most of the time their concerns and efforts were to help Beth. She was in many rehabs and other groups but the demons overcame her.

    She lost the will to live because each day was more pain and suffering.

    Ellis Stewart Simring

  49. Ellis Stewart Simring

    Dear concerned parent,

    They will not leave him alone.

    The government wants to put Richard in jail, be a felon and be disbarred.

    I seek publicity to support the effort to have his guilty plea withdrawn and resume his rightfull place in society.

    Richard needs psycholgical counsling and not incarceraton.

    Ellis Stewart Simring

  50. i went to hollywood hills high school the same years 1984-1988 as richard. He was a very nice, smart and good looking young man. Unfortunately he made some bad decisions later in his life, and now is paying for them. its very unfortunate. Excuses can be made all day about how he had problems at home, with his wife, or any other outside pressures. Excuses wont change anything here. Now he has to deal with the effects of his bad decisions. More Money, More Problems.



    Dear Hollywood,

    No opinion should be given uneless you are informed of all of the facts.

    Do not jump to conclusions or speculate the destruction of another person.

    Such recdklesness is one of the biggest problems amongst men.

    Ellis Stewart Simring

  52. Jennifer Hingel Sylvester

    Mr. Simring,

    I’m so very sorry to hear about Richard & the trouble he is dealing with. My heart goaes out to him and the entire family. I went to high school with Richard, Jill & Matt and visited your home on several occasions. I had heard Richard had become a successful lawyer but had no idea of his legal troubles until today.
    After reading about the news and the comments people have posted I was compelled to write to you and express my sympathy for all of you. The Richard I remember was one of a kind, brilliant, funny, giving. I cannot imagine him as someone that could have possibly been involved in such a scam of innocent people. I hope that he is cleared of charges and that his children come through all of this without suffering.
    I don’t know if you or he would even remember me, but my condolences go out to him as well as you and everyone else in the family.



    Dear Hollywood,

    My second comment … Richard was ay Hollywood Hills High from 1980-1984.

    The years 1984-1988 at which time you attended Hollywood Hills Hifgh Richard was attending Princeton University.

    You appear to be both ill informed and confused.

    Ellis Stewart Simring


    Dear Jen,

    Thank you.

    We will hope for the best.

    I forwarded your note to Richard.

    Ellis Simring

  55. The entire situation is a mess.

    As someone who got the chance to spend some time with Richard and Beth while I was growing up, I send out love and empathy to the entire family. I will always remember the thoughtful actions that Richard took for others. I’ll never know all of the details about this case but it sure is hard to imagine how this “perfect storm” came to be.

    I wish the best for all involved.

  56. “Does anybody believe that society will benefit by destroying Richard’s life.”

    Yes. Absolutely. 100%. Society certainly will benefit from sentencing Mr. Simring.

    By sentencing Mr. Simring, we uphold the rule of law and enforce justice. By doing so, we strengthen our societal institutions, deter similar wrongdoing and prevent vigilantism.

    What should have been done? Should your son have just been given a “pass” because he was of noble birth, gave to charity and had the good fortune to be an attorney at a big law firm? Let me guess…. your son assists a man stealing over $150million (destroying the lives of countless victims who counted on the money as life savings) and you think he should get probation because ….?

    However, I must correct one thing. Neither the government nor society “destroyed” your son’s life. Rather, your sons actions “destroyed” his life.

    Moreover, need I remind you of the victims of your son’s crimes?

  57. “Even If Richard was not mentally unstable at the time of the events, Richard’s minor involvement begs for no incarceration.”

    Minor involvement? Are you serious? Don’t confuse the amount of time that your son was in on the scheme as, in any way, being indicative of whether or not he was an important part of the crime.

    He assisted Okun in continuing and covering up the crime. Just because he wasn’t as central to the scheme as Coleman and Okun does not mean that his crimes were minor, just no big deal.

    Once again, I will say it: This was a scheme to defraud innocent people of $150 million.

    How does that not warrant a prison sentence? What do you propose? Give him a fine and let him go about his practice billing $1000 an hour as a fancy Miami attorney?? Wouldn’t that be just swell.

    If the penalties are not stringent, then why wouldn’t others do the same thing your son and his cohorts did?

    “In state court the judge would probable withold adjudication as a felon …. that is no felony conviction …. but in federal court except with a minor exception not applicble here the judge cannot withold adjudication. ”

    Wow. Unbelievable. You act as if your son stole an apple from a grocery store. Helping someone steal $150million from someone is a felony – whether on the state or federal level. He participated in the crime, helped cover up the crime and, by doing so, aided and abetted the crime. The law views him as no better than those that committed the inital crime

  58. “They will not leave him alone.”

    Why should they? Your son committed a crime. He should be prosecuted and brought to justice. But, at this point, that is all irrelevant. He plead guilty and such plea was never withdrawn.

    “The government wants to put Richard in jail, be a felon and be disbarred.”

    Good to know that they are doing their job.

    “I seek publicity to support the effort to have his guilty plea withdrawn and resume his rightfull place in society.”

    “Rightful place in society”??? Wow. I guess that those criminal laws are just intended for the little people – you know, the middle class, the poor or minorities. How dare they actually punish him for something he did.

  59. Hi,
    I met Mr. Simring couple of months ago when my son and his son were in summer camp together for only few days. My heart broke when I heard about Mr. Simring’s wife death. He was carrying this sweet little baby girl in his arm and his osn was with him. I talked with Mr. Simring couple of times and what stroke me was that he was not really coming across as completely “normal’. He seemed nervous, hyper, and I just could not figure him out. At this stage I had NO clue at all, whatsover of who he was and what situation he was in. Yet, I was intrigued and I started to look him up and googled him. I discovered the story mainly through this link.
    Mr. Simring was very likely not focused when I met him, and it is quite understandable.
    You have lost your spouse, you are resposnible for two lovely young children and you re facing a terrible sentence.
    I can put myself in Mr. Simring shoes. How would you be if your spouce is sick, a drug and alcohol addict, pregnant and also mother of a young boy… you can not work and think clearly. you can not act, you are in a blurry state of mind because the stress is so high. Nothing to do with work but all to do with life, love, your spouse, the life of your chidlren. Teh stakes are really high and so high that you don’t focus so much at work or let things slide or go . If Mr. Simring had been in a normal status of mind when he joined Okun’s firm, he owuld have quit immediately. He did not because his priorities were home, family, chidlren and LIFE.

    I think that Mr. Simring is not guilty. He was under awful pressure and still is.
    He made poor decisions and too fast.

    My prayers are with him and his son and daughter.
    I don’t know him but I hope that he will get better and that the justice will see and understand what I saw, read, thought of,, and analyzed.
    a Father is responsible of his two chidlren. Let him raise and love his chidlren.

  60. Hi:
    Just happened upon all these postings. I was a friend of Richard’s in law school and, although we lost touch after graduation, I have always considered him a bright and decent guy. I am truly saddened by where life has taken him. A lot of self-rightous people, many of whom have never met him seem eager to villify him – I say, let he who is without sin throw the first stone. I wish him and his family only the best in the future.

  61. My husband and I are victims of Mr Okun and Mr Simring. We lost over 200,000.00 which to someone like these 2 is nothing but to us it was years of hard work. They took our security away and stole our money, bottom line. I do not feel sorry for anyone going to prison in this case and as a matter of fact mybe those children will be raised better without the influence of parents like them. What they did was wrong and I hope that they suffer for it. They do not deserve to keep any money that they took or earned while stealing from us. They have created great hardship for families that they do not care at all about and I for one say 1/26/10 can not come soon enough.

    All these people stating that their prayers are with him, how about the prayers for the families that he stole from. How about the people that did nothing wrong but put money where the govt told them to yet to have the horrible people that they are take it without their concent and leave them with nothing. They are the ones that need to prayers not this piece of work….



    If you or any other person is interested in the responses to Mr. Green’s analysis please send me your e-mail address at

    I guarantee I will provide “food for thought” and dispell your attitude of certitude.

    Thank you


    Heron Preserve
    6019N.W.118TH Drive
    Coral Springs, Florida 33076
    Tel No 954-326-9702
    Cell No.954-918-8123

    October 29, 2010
    Hon. Judge Robert J. Payne
    Federal Courthouse
    701 East Broad Street
    Richmond, VA 23219

    Re: United States of America v. Richard B. Simring
    Criminal Case No. 3:08er 321

    Hon. Judge Payne,
    I reviewed all of the facts and circumstances previously brought before this court which is the basis at this time to urge that this honorable court to reverse its position on this case relying on the following:

    Standing before your honor at the Plea Hearing was:
    Richard B. Simring defendant
    McHale S. Dry prosecutor
    Murray Janus defense counsel

    All represented to the court that the defendant was mentally competent to enter a plea and mentally competent to commit criminal behavior, all ignoring my letter to the contrary, which I understand the court suppressed.

    Richard B. Simring admits severe depression during his time with Okun and right up to sentencing, confirmed by an IME.

    Michael S. Dry admits defendant’s mental disability during all of this time.

    Murray Janus, however reluctantly and embarrassed, also admits the mental disability.

    IF DEFENSE COUNSEL was placed on notice of mental disability, as he was by the undersigned many times before the plea, it was incumbent for him to have the defendant examined by a psychiatrist or psychologist.

    I respectfully and forcibly suggested had defense counsel properly represented the defendant, and explored defendant’s mental disability, their would have been no plea, no conviction and no sentence.

    Instead of the court merely relying on the statements of those standing before the Bar, the court would have a report that would have precluded acceptance of a plea.

    NOW that all three such persons have changed their position on the defendant’s competency to plea or be responsible for alleged criminal conduct (indeed the prosecutor admitted at the sentencing that he lied at the plea hearing on the question of mental competency) this honorable court has no recourse other than to vacate the plea and all that followed.

    One would expect defense counsel to admit his error to save the life and future of the defendant.

    Thank you for your consideration.
    Ellis Stewart Simring
    cc: Murray Janus, Defense Counsel (via e-mail no longer representing defendant)
    Michael S. Dry, Asst U.S. Atty via e-mail

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