Woman charged with bilking investors

Friday, December 31st 2004, 6:09 am
By: News On 6

GUTHRIE, Okla. (AP) _ Felony charges have been filed against a Crescent woman in an alleged investment scheme that officials said could involve as many as 100 victims and millions of dollars.

Marsha Kay Schubert, 50, is named in 14 felony counts of obtaining money by false pretenses. The charges, filed Thursday in Logan County, specifically accuse her of bilking investors out of $889,000.

Schubert is accused of conducting a Ponzi scheme, where investors' money is used to pay off prior investors, to defraud four individuals between 2002 and 2004.

District Attorney Robert Hudson said state and federal authorities are investigating and that the charges ``represent the tip of the iceberg.''

``It will be handled in the federal court system, as well. This is a joint prosecution,'' Hudson said.

The prosecutor said he filed charges because of trial laws that make it easier for state courts to file before an investigation is completed.

``There are so many victims out there that are concerned about how can she be out and about,'' Hudson said, ``that we ought to utilize the state court's ability to bring charges a little quicker.''

A charge of obtaining money by false pretenses is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

Schubert's attorney, Mack Martin, said his client will turn herself in on Tuesday, when a district court hearing is scheduled.

``We've agreed to surrender,'' the defense attorney said. ``We'll appear there, enter a plea of not guilty and go from there.''

Hudson predicted there could be as many as 100 investors defrauded in the alleged scheme. He said he expected federal prosecutors to eventually bring securities fraud charges.

Schubert and her husband, Richard, came under scrutiny in October when the Oklahoma Securities Department opened an investigation into the activity of their firm, Schubert and Associates.

Securities Department Commissioner Irving L. Faught said earlier the alleged fraud could involve as much as $60 million.