Ex-financier receives probation
The former owner of a Minden investment company, convicted by a Douglas County jury on two theft charges, was sentenced Monday to five years probation.
District Judge Michael Gibbons sentenced Michael Schubarth to two concurrent four-year terms in Nevada State Prison and ordered the 50-year-old man to pay $5,869 restitution.
Gibbons imposed the sentence after he denied a motion for a new trial and to overturn Schubarth’s conviction.
He suspended the sentence and placed Schubarth on probation.
Schubarth’s lawyer, John Springgate, said he may file an appeal on behalf of his client.
Schubarth was convicted of theft by embezzlement from a builder’s trust fund and theft by false pretenses in an advance fee loan scheme on Nov. 10.
He was prosecuted by the state attorney general’s office Bureau of Consumer Protection.
Schubarth operated High Desert Financial Inc. in Minden.
On the false pretense charge, he was accused of engaging in a scheme against a Las Vegas woman by promising to obtain a refinancing loan upon payment of a refundable $2,500 commitment fee.
After receiving payment, Schubarth ended communication, performed no work to obtain the loan and provided no refund, according to the attorney general’s office.
He was charged with theft by embezzlement for using more than $15,000 held in a builder’s trust account for his own use. The victim learned of the embezzlement after receiving a notice from Schubarth employees that there were insufficient funds in the account to make the final $15,000 in payments.
In requesting a new trial and that the judgment be overturned, Springgate said he was surprised by the jury’s verdict on the embezzlement charge.
“There was no evidence of embezzlement,” Springgate said. “There was a failure of evidence to show Mr. Schubarth was aware at any time of funds coming from the wrong account.”
Deputy attorney general John McGlamery who prosecuted Schubarth said the point was argued before the jury and the evidence was clear.
“The jury knew that going in,” McGlamery said.
Gibbons said Schubarth’s illegal actions caused “a lot of heartache” for his victims.
“This was more than a business transaction gone bad,” Gibbons said. “These people were desperate for the money they gave you. You caused a lot of heartache for people at a time of great stress in their lives.”
Gibbons told Schubarth he was intelligent “and there was no reason for you to be skirting on the edge of the law.”
Springgate said a Utah conviction against his client had been overturned.
Springgate, who was appointed to represent Schubarth, also filed a claim for $12,396.23 in legal fees and costs.
Schubarth was ordered to make restitution at $300 a month and to pay $1,000 toward his legal fees.
Schubarth must perform 80 hours of community service.
He cannot engage in any business that involves loan brokerage activities or trust accounts.
Gibbons also ordered him to inform any employers of the conviction.
Springgate said Schubarth planned to move to Woodland, Calif., where he had a job offer as an administrative assistant at a real estate firm.