Creditors will get less than a cent on the dollar from man's estate

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Posted: Saturday, December 14, 2013 12:00 am

The curious case of the Omaha and Des Moines businessman who left a messy estate in 2008 has finally come to an end.

An Iowa probate court has approved a final plan for wrapping up the financial affairs of Edward Boesen, who committed suicide as his fraudulent financial empire collapsed.

A long list of creditors, led by First National Bank of Omaha, will share $322,000 salvaged from the estate of Boesen, who died without a will.

It is a paltry sum in comparison: First National filed a claim for about $19 million after lending to the operator of a variety of businesses, including three Omaha-area Piccolo’s Florist & Gifts shops (sold in 2008 to The McCarthy Group, an Atlanta-based florist company).

First National spokesman Kevin Langin said Friday that bank officials had no comment. The bank long ago, in 2008, wrote off the loans, covering them with reserves set aside for the purpose. The largest bank based in Nebraska, with about $14 billion of assets, said the losses posed no threat.

First National said in legal filings during the run-up to the final approval last month that Boesen in 2007 used “fraudulent financial statements” and a “fraudulent pledge of a security interest” in a stock brokerage account to obtain a $6 million personal loan.

Boesen’s business empire, financed with loan proceeds based on the bogus brokerage account, was wide-ranging. It included two office buildings in Des Moines and two bridal shops there, as well as the contract to operate the Ankeny Regional Airport northeast of the city.

Iowa’s Business Record newspaper reported this week that Boesen died from an overdose of over-the-counter drugs while on a financing mission to Davenport, Iowa, in July 2008.

First National was far from alone in paying for Boesen’s conduct. Unpaid claims filed by banks, private lenders and other businesses against the Boesen estate totaled $36 million, according to the final settlement documents in Iowa’s Polk County Probate Court.

At his death, Boesen was planning to develop a $6 million residential and retail project called Piccolo’s Pointe, at 77th and Dodge Streets.

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