A new judge will preside over the case against two former brokers accused of defrauding over 130 Nebraska investors of over $20 million. Gage County District Judge Paul Korslund takes over for Sarpy County District Judge David Arterbur, who recused himself over possible conflicts.
Prosecutors are accusing Brian Schuster and Rebecca Engle, previously affiliated with Wachovia Securities LLC, Capital Growth Financial LLC, and VSR Financial Services Inc., of improperly selling risky investments to former clients when they worked together between 2000 and 2007. The two of them entered not guilty pleas to eight felony counts of securities fraud.
The investments under dispute were sold to investors while Capital Growth employed the two brokers. Investors say they bought securities in American Capital Corp. and Royal Palm. PrimEdge Inc. eventually bought both companies and Schuster became PrimEdge chief executive and president.
Over 200 investors will share a settlement of approximately $900,000 to be paid by the brokers’ ex-employers. Quanta Specialty Lines Insurance Co. will pay for most of it on behalf of Capital Growth. However this recovery is just a small portion of the over $20 million dollars in broker fraud losses that investors are claiming.
The majority of investors that have filed securities fraud lawsuits and arbitration claims were either nearing retirement or already retired when they were defrauded. They had wanted to make stable, low risk, conservative investments and they claim that the former brokers made investments for them in risky ventures without fully explaining what was involved. Engle and Schuster, however, say they shouldn’t be prosecuted for securities fraud because investors acknowledged the risks in writing.
Related Web Resources:
Judge appointed in fraud cases of ex Neb. Brokers, AP, December 22, 2009 Insurer to Pay Bulk of $900K Settlement in Nebraska Fraud Case, Insurance Journal, July 23, 2009
Please contact our securities fraud law firm if you sustained financial losses because of broker misconduct.