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Former Nebraska City Brokers Sentenced in $20M Investment Fraud Case

David P. Meyer

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.