- Associated Press - Monday, January 9, 2017

KALISPELL, Mont. (AP) - A 58-year-old Columbia Falls woman has reached a plea agreement in an investment fraud case.

Court records say Catherine Ann Finberg has agreed to plead guilty to operating a pyramid scheme and two counts of fraudulent securities practices. She also agreed to plead no contest to theft by embezzlement from someone’s individual retirement and bank accounts. The Flathead Beacon reports (bit.ly/2ix0ewI) the change-of-plea hearing is set for Jan. 25.

Flathead County prosecutors say they will recommend a 40-year prison sentence with 30 suspended. The agreement calls for Finberg to pay just over $1 million in restitution to her victims, which include her mother’s estate.

Prosecutors allege that Finberg obtained at least $1.5 million between 2008 and 2016 from 28 people who expected her to invest the money on their behalf.

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Information from: Flathead Beacon, https://www.flatheadbeacon.com

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