Mogul case set for trial
In June, Mogul, 44, of Edwards, pleaded guilty to stealing $351,000 from time-share sales in Edwards.
Mogul accepted a plea agreement from the Eagle County District Attorney’s office that included no jail if he paid $351,000 in restitution. Mogul, who had pleaded guilty to a class four felony theft charge – which can carry two to six years in prison – had agreed to pay Crescent Club Investors and Crescent Club Holdings, the victims in the case, $7,900 a month until all the money was paid off. Deputy District Attorney Dave Moffet also requested a 30-day jail sentence for Mogul.
County Judge Fred Gannett had accepted the plea in June, but District Judge Richard Hart rejected the plea at a sentencing hearing Wednesday saying “the victims are against the deal.” Following Hart’s decision, Mogul entered a not guilty plea and a five-day jury trial was set for March 29.
“Mr. Mogul has told the judge who accepted the plea that he will pay $7,900 a month,” Patrick Tooley, an attorney for Crescent Club Investors and Crescent Club Holdings, told Hart. “But we’re concerned he’ll come back to the court saying he can’t make the payments because he doesn’t have enough money.”
Tooley asked Hart not to move forward with the plea unless he could make sure that if Mogul stops payments, it would constitute a violation of the agreement.
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“I’m torn between my obligation to honor the plea agreement, but if the victims aren’t in favor, I don’t see how I can grant this plea,” Hart said. “By rejecting the plea, however, I’m also rejecting the restitution component.”
If Mogul is convicted and goes to jail, it will be very hard for him to pay restitution.
“He isn’t going to pay us, so I’d rather see him going to jail,” said Kit Phillips, a partner in Crescent Club Investors and Crescent Club Holdings. “We might lose the money, but justice needs to be served.”
Terry O’Connor, Mogul’s attorney, defended the plea agreement saying it had been recommended in the court’s pre-sentence report.
“Mr. Mogul wants to pay the money back and there won’t be any excuses,” O’Connor told the judge.
Moffet said Mogul took a lot of money over a long period of time.
“It’s a case that deserves some criminal sanctions,” he said.
Mogul, who is out on a $50,000 bond, appeared in court wearing a blue shirt, khakis and a gold and steel Rolex watch.
“I might possibly consider another plea,” said a calm Mogul after the hearing.
Mogul, who also faces a civil trial on Nov. 17 in the same case, is accused of keeping $351,000 from time-share sales from Crescent Club Investors and Crescent Club Holdings in Edwards.
Eagle County Sheriff’s deputies arrested Mogul in August 2002 and he was charged with two counts of theft. The alleged illegal transactions began in August 2001. The case took about a year to investigate, police said.
Mogul, who has been working in the valley for several years, was supposed to keep the money in an escrow account and then turn it over to the owners of the time-shares, police said.
But on the date of transactions, the money that had been wire-transferred to an escrow account never went to the sellers, said Eagle County Sheriff’s Detective Doug Winter when Mogul was arrested.
“Mr. Mogul kept the money in escrow and never released the funds,” Winters said.
Veronica Whitney can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 454, or at