ST. LOUIS (AP) — A Kansas attorney and a real estate speculator from the United Kingdom have pleaded guilty to defrauding investors of $52 million in what authorities call one of the largest-ever Ponzi schemes in Missouri.

James Scott Brown of Leawood, Kan., and Derek Smith of Oxfordshire, England, pleaded guilty to fraud charges Friday in U.S. District Court in St. Louis. Sentencing has not been set, but federal prosecutors say both men agreed to forfeit property and money in an effort to pay back defrauded investors.

They were indicted in April and originally pleaded not guilty before changing the pleas on Friday. The alleged leader of the scheme, Martin Sigillito of Webster Groves, is scheduled for trial in March.

Attorneys for Brown and Smith did not return messages seeking comment.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Listen Live