Kansas Mall Caught up in Ripples From Fraud Case

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SALINA, Kan. (AP) _ Merchants in Salina's Central Mall say they've seen little change in its operations in recent months, except where they send their rent checks.

But the mall is caught in the ripples from a criminal case in Virginia, in which federal prosecutors accuse a Miami man of defrauding investors of $132 million.

Investment Properties of America bought the mall in 2006. In March, a federal grand jury in Richmond, Va., indicted the company's owner, Edward Okun. The charges against Okun include multiple counts of money laundering and wire and mail fraud.

Okun turned over his assets, including the mall, to a federal bankruptcy trustee, who is trying to sell it.

The mall, with about 587,000 square feet, was built in 1987.


Information from: The Salina Journal, http://www.saljournal.com

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)