Securities firm owner sentenced for fraud

Wednesday, April 22, 2009 | 10:22 a.m. CDT

ST. LOUIS — The owner of a St. Louis securities firm has been sentenced to nearly six years in prison for a scheme that defrauded investors of nearly $5 million.

The sentence was handed down Tuesday for 53-year-old Scott Luster of Belleville, Ill. He pleaded guilty in February to federal mail fraud and tax charges.

Luster was president of Rate Search Inc., a company that promised customers it would find the best return on certificates of deposit by searching financial institutions throughout the U.S.

He admitted in the plea that he used customer money for business and personal use. He also failed to pay taxes on more than $800,000.

Acting U.S. Attorney Michael Reap says Luster must pay restitution of $5.2 million.

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