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Owner of First National Center in Oklahoma City pleads guilty to embezzlement, faces up to 10-year prison sentence

Aaron Yashouafar, owner of Oklahoma City's landmark First National Center, will have to pay $1 million to tenants of a Nevada condominium complex and faces up to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to one felony count of embezzlement.
by Steve Lackmeyer Published: August 2, 2012

In the past two years he was listed as one of New York City's top slumlords by The Village Voice, faced a tenant revolt at his 45-story Sky condominium tower in Las Vegas, and filed property bankruptcies on both coasts.

Chuck Wiggin, a veteran real estate and investment broker in Oklahoma City since 1979 who served as receiver for First National Center in 1987, was among those in disbelief when Yashouafar led investment groups in buying the property for $21 million.

“I met some of his people at the time of the transaction,” Wiggin said. “They were very proud of what they did. I introduced them to some people. … But it didn't seem like it was a good deal.”

Wiggin suspects the felony embezzlement plea will further increase the odds against Yashouafar obtaining the $12 million in financing needed to retain control of First National.

“Even if the guy has great credit, the chances of getting $12 million for that building in today's market are very slim,” Wiggin said. “Now it may be impossible.” has disabled the comments for this article.
by Steve Lackmeyer
Business Reporter
Steve Lackmeyer is a reporter and columnist who started his career at The Oklahoman in 1990. Since then, he has won numerous awards for his coverage, which included the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, the city's Metropolitan...
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