Mogul pleads guilty to misdemeanor charge
EAGLE – More than two years after he was arrested for allegedly stealing money from time-share sales, former local real estate agent Mark Mogul pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge and agreed to pay restitution to the victims. Mogul, 44, who was out on a $50,000 bond and now lives in South Carolina, appeared in an Eagle County courtroom Wednesday and entered a guilty plea on a misdemeanor charge and agreed to pay more than $360,000 in restitution. Mogul won’t go to jail and will get probation for 18 months, the plea agreement stipulates. One of the charges he faced was dismissed and the other one was lowered to a misdemeanor.”We talked to the victims in the case and they indicated they wanted the money back,” said District Attorney Mark Hurlbert. “They were with us in every step on this.”Mogul, who was originally charged with two counts of theft, a felony crime, was accused of keeping $351,000 from time-share sales from Crescent Club Investors and Crescent Club Holdings in Edwards.
Mogul was facing a five-day trial that was scheduled to begin MondayWhen working on an embezzlement case, Hurlbert said prosecutors’ first goal is to get people their money back. “We’d like to do both – restitution and jail,” he added. “Ultimately, we’d like to get both, but the way the system is set up, a person can go to prison and the victims don’t get their money back.”In December, District Judge Richard Hart denied a request to dismiss the case. Mogul’s attorney Phil Cherner had cited the double jeopardy clause in the U.S. Constitution, which says a person can’t be punished for the same crime twice. In August, Hart enforced a civil judgment against Mogul that was originally entered in November 2003. Hart entered a judgment in favor of Crescent Club Holdings for $1.2 million on their claims of civil theft and conversion against Mogul. The case was filed in 2001.
Hart also rejected a request from Cherner to suppress tape recordings being used as evidence in the case. Saying recordings of Mogul and his former business partner, Eric Lyons, were made unethically, Cherner asked Hart to throw them out. In the recordings, Mogul discusses money matters with Lyons.Mogul faces another felony charge in Summit County – a felony trespassing charge. He’s out on $2,500 bond in that case. Eagle County Sheriff’s deputies arrested Mogul on the theft charges in August 2002. According to court records, the alleged illegal transactions began in August 2001. The case took about a year to investigate, police said.Mogul, who had 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 the transactions, the money that had been wire-transferred to an escrow account never went to the sellers, Eagle County Sheriff’s Detective Doug Winter said when Mogul was arrested.
Mogul has said that as a partner in the company he had power to use the money to pay the company’s debts.”(The partners) claim they don’t know where the money went, I spent it to pay the debt of the company,” Mogul said earlier.Staff Writer Veronica Whitney can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 454 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Vail, Colorado