Thursday, February 5, 2009

Missouri Man Pleads Guilty In $4.5 Million Ponzi Scheme Case

Scott E. Luster, 53, of Belleville, Illinois and the President of Rate Search, Inc., of Clayton, Missouri, pleaded guilty yesterday to one count of mail fraud and one count of filing a false tax return. Rate Search purportedly was in the business of marketing and brokering certificates of deposit. Prosecutors contend that Luster ran a Ponzi-type investment scheme between January 2000 and June 2007 defrauding its clients out of at least $4.5 million by failing to purchase CDs as directed. Instead, Luster used the funds for his own benefit. Luster also failed to report $807,911 in income from 2002 through 2006, according to the indictment. He faces up to 23 years in prison and $350,000 in fines upon sentencing which is scheduled for April 21, 2009. A co-defendant Clark Schultz, 42 of University City, Missouri and President of Clayton Analytical Services, Inc., pleded guilty to related charges last December and awaits sentencing. Schultz was formerly employed by Rate Search.

Read the story here, here and here.

Read the DOJ announcement here.

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