Joseph Zada, Owner of Olympic Gold Medal Horse & Defrauded Tens of Millions of Dollars, to be Released Early to “House Arrest” in Swank Mansion Due to Covid-19
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May 13, 2020
By KENNETH J. BRADDICK
Joseph Zada, sentenced to prison for 15 years for defrauding U.S. six-time dressage Olympian Robert Dover, Russian hockey star Sergei Fedorov and many others of tens of millions of dollars, is being released into “house arrest” in his multi-million dollar mansion after serving only four years of a 15-year sentence.
Joe Zada, who owned the horse Custom Made that David O’Connor of the United States rode to eventing individual gold at the Sydney 2000 Olympics, will serve out the 11 years remaining of his sentence in his multi-million dollar mansion in Detroit’s swank Grosse Pointe Shores community.
The release of Zada, who is now 61 years old and incarcerated at the Federal Correctional Institute at Milan, Michigan, 50 miles/80km west of Detroit, resulted from a decision triggered by the Covid-19 virus spreading throughout the prison population.
The U.S. Bureau of Prisons notified victims of the Ponzi scheme of the decision to release Zada.
Robert Dover, who competed for the U.S. at six Olympics and was American team coach in the 2016 Rio Games and 2018 World Equestrian Games in Tryon, was among those to receive a letter.
Sergei Federov, the Russian hockey star who played for the Detroit Red Wings, was reported at the time of the trials in federal court to have been defrauded of more than $40 million in the Zada scheme.
Zada had multi-million dollar homes in Wellington, Florida and Grosse Pointe Shores in the Detroit area as well as a $12 million stable alongside the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center that hosts the Winter Equestrian Festival.
Among Zada’s equestrian successes was the ownership of Custom Made, an Irish Sport Horse that in addition to the Olympics, won three major advanced-level three-days in his career: the 1995 Rolex Kentucky CCI4*, the 1997 Badminton CCI5* and 2002 Fair Hill, Maryland CCI4*. He also finished fifth individually at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games and third at Badminton the same year.