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Two plead guilty in stock fraud

Michael Starbuck and his brother John have pleaded guilty in New York State Supreme Court to grand larceny, a felony. Robert Starbuck, the brothers' father , pleaded guilty to stock fraud, a misdemeanor.

The Starbucks admitted participation in a fraud that involved $2.4 million and about 250 investors, many of them Christian Scientiests. Judge Joseph Harris set sentencing for Sept. 14 but said in court he would impose no more than a four-year prison term on Michael Starbuck, whom Attorney General Robert Abrams called the "mastermind" of the fraud. The Starbucks also agreed they would no longer work in the investments business.

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A lawyer representing the trustee overseeing the remaining $500,000 in investor assets says the Starbucks' plea should be helpful in recovering about $ 1 million in fraud insurance.