Nebraska Insurance Agent Pleads Guilty to Mail Fraud

June 21, 2012

One of three former Grand Island, Neb.-based insurance agents accused of defrauding more than 250 investors out of $29 million has pleaded guilty.

The Grand Island Independent reported that Kenneth Mottin, of St. Libory, pleaded guilty to mail fraud.

Mottin, Stella Levea and James Masat were the principals of First Americans Insurance Service, which had been under investigation since a 2009 bankruptcy filing.

Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning has likened First Americans’ alleged fraud to a Ponzi scheme, in which investors are promised unusually high returns and early investors are paid out with money from later investors.

Levea and Masat have pleaded not guilty.

The former insurance company isn’t related to First American Corp., a Santa Ana, Calif.-based provider of title and specialty insurance and business information.

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