St. Louis Public Radio News
7:29 am
Tue February 3, 2009

Clayton investor pleads guilty to $4.5 million Ponzi scheme

St. Louis, MO – The president of a Clayton-based investment firm has pleaded guilty to a $4.5 million dollar Ponzi scheme.

U.S. Attorney Catherine Hanaway announced the charges on Tuesday.

Scott Luster, President of Rate Search, Inc., pleaded guilty to fraud and tax charges involving a scheme defraud customers who thought they were purchasing certificates of deposit.

From 2000 to 2007 Luster took the investor's money but never actually purchased the CD's or advised clients that he didn't.

Instead the money was used for unrelated business purposes and for personal use.

Luster pleaded guilty to one felony count of mail fraud and one felony count of filing a false tax return. He faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and fines up to $350,000.