Former Nebraska City broker Brian Schuster was sentenced to 16 years in
prison on Tuesday for his role in an investment fraud that involved the
sale of more than $20 million in risky investments to hundreds of Nebraska-area
investors. Rebecca Engle, also a former Nebraska City broker and Schuster's
partner in the fraud, was sentenced to six years.
The two defendants were indicted in 2009 on multiple felony fraud counts.
According to the
Beatrice Daily Sun, Schuster agreed to plead no contest to four counts of indirect material
omissions after Engle agreed to help the prosecutors with their case and to plead
guilty to two charges of fraud. Schuster and Engle were each charged originally
with eight counts of fraudulent acts related to the sale of securities.
According to authorities, Schuster and Engle, as registered brokers with
broker-dealer Capital Growth Financial, promoted and sold risky investments
in American Capital Corporation and Royal Palm for Florida-based Royal
Palm Securities Group. Court documents alleged that the defendants "portrayed"
the high-risk investments "in glowing terms, as can't miss deals;
as safe and secure; as very profitable."
"The great majority of the investors ... were long time clients of
Engle and Schuster who trusted Engle and Schuster would only recommend
investments suitable for their circumstances," prosecutors alleged
in the affidavit.
Last April, Schuster reached a $30 million settlement with more than 200
of the fraud's victims.