A lawyer from Lincoln, Nebraska, claims dozens of investors from western Iowa and eastern Nebraska were bilked by brokers who recommended investments that were too risky — and a former Nebraska football player is alleged to have been in business with one of those brokers.
Attorney J. L. Spray is asking the National Association of Securities Dealers to help his clients. "We’re alleging that the brokers involved sold unsuitable securities to people who really weren’t eligible — either financially or through their sophistication — to understand the investment and should not have been placed in it," Spray says. "We’re also alleging that the broker dealers…weren’t properly supervising the brokers."
According to Spray, the female broker at the center of this case changed companies frequently and ended up working for some very small brokerage companies. Spray represents about 80 individuals, charities and fraternal organizations. He charges those clients were led to invest in "inappropriate" or "junk" securities. Investors may have lost more than 15-million dollars and Spray says his "biggest problem" will be reclaiming some of that money for his clients.
While four individuals were cited in legal documents, broker Rebecca Engle is considered the focus of the legal action. She operated out of an office in Nebraska City, Nebraska. The others listed in the legal documents are Peter Lahti, Paula Turner and former Nebraska football player Brian Schuster. Schuster is listed as the president of a Florida company that’s done business with Engle. Schuster played fullback for Nebraska from 1992 to 1996.
Schuster’s lawyer says the former athlete was "duped" by Engle, just like the investors were. The Nebraska Department of Banking and Finance has been investigating Engle for almost a year.