Three developers of a historic apartment building in mid-town Omaha are facing felony charges. They are accused of Securities fraud and selling unregistered securities.
Jason Plog, Joseph Frost, and David Mackie raised $400,000 from eight investors to revitalize the Ambassador apartments near 49th ave and Dodge. One of those investors Bob Sadler said he lost $112,000. Sadler told Channel Six news Fact Finders, "I felt like I've been taken. I mean you trust these three people that you gave money would do the right thing and the they just opt to take the money."
In an affidavit filed by the Nebraska Banking Department, its alleged Plog, Frost and Mackie paid themselves a total of $221,000 before the project got going. Eight investors put up $400,000 and allege the developers mislead them about fees. However an attorney who was involved in the later stages of the project said investors signed off on the developers fees. Pat Betterman said, "These guys are not crooks. These guys are businessmen who go into a situation that turned out to be a dry well." As for the charge of selling unregistered securities Betterman said another attorney failed to file the paperwork with the state. An error not a crime. However Bob Sadler said he would never sign off on up front fees and feels deceived. Sadler said, "They deserve to be charged. Maybe they'll go through some of the grief we went through."
The Douglas County Attorney's office filed 13 felony counts on each of the developers. If convicted, they face a maximum prison sentence of 65 years each.
Frost has been booked and is free on bond believed to be 10 percent of $75,000. Attorneys for Plog and Mackie are arranging to have the clients turn themselves in. Attorney Clarence Mock and Don Schense both said they would vigorously fight the charges. Both said there was no criminal intent.