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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Virginia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, April 12, 2018

Virginia Beach Business Owner Sentenced for $3.9 Million Fraud

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – A Virginia Beach man was sentenced today to 10 years in 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/lenders to obtain over $4.5 million in funds.

In addition to the $4.5 million from private investors/lenders, Zinner obtained six business loans for Ocean Equity in the amount of $3 million. In obtaining these loans, Zinner falsely represented that the loans would not be used for personal, family, or household purposes. However, Zinner spent large amounts of company money on personal expenditures, including, travel, vehicle expenses, gambling, day-trading, mortgage payments, renovations to his personal residence, medical bills, personal credit cards, a rock band, and other expenditures. From 2011 to 2016, approximately $2 million was transferred from the Ocean Equity accounts to Zinner’s personal accounts.

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 over $4 million in restitution to his victims.

Tracy Doherty-McCormick, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Kimberly Lappin, Special Agent in Charge, Washington, D.C. Field Office, IRS-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), made the announcement after sentencing by Senior U.S. District Judge Henry Coke Morgan, Jr. Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian J. Samuels and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Bethany J. Lipman prosecuted the case.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information is located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 4:17-cr-3.

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Contact: 
Joshua Stueve Director of Communications joshua.stueve@usdoj.gov
Updated April 12, 2018