Stearns’ investors will not get all their money back, but maybe 50-60 percent

Jim George, a prominent Austin attorney who grew up in Brady, came back to his hometown in October 1999, shortly after Brian Russell Stearns was charged with fraudulently scamming about 300 Brady and McCulloch County residents, many of them George’s boyhood friends. He promised that he would take the civil case and get as much of their investments back as possible. In an interview with the Standard-Herald only hours after Stearns had been found guilty of 80 counts of fraud and money laundering, George said he needs “anyone who had any contact with Stearns, his family members or with Stearns’ lawyers” to call him immediately. His telephone number is 512/495-1410. George said there are two civil trials pending’one against Stearns and his associates and the other against Stearns’ lawyers. “I hope to have a conclusion in the case by April. I will be meeting with the attorneys of the Dallas law firm in the near future and am taking Phillip Wylie’s deposition on Tuesday (today),” he said. George also said he expects Stearns to be sentenced (in June) to a minimum of 20 years and a maximum of 30-35 years. “There is no indication of big money in off-shore or Swiss banks. We may be able to round up between $4 or $5 million, but that’s all,” he said. The Austin lawyer said no one will get back 100 percent of his/her investments. “I expect the amount to be between 50 to 60 percent,” he said. The bulk of Bradyites’ money is expected to come from the law firm’s liability insurance policy. George said that the Brady people who were stung don’t need to feel really bad about being suckered by Stearns. “There were some really big guys at the trial; from as far away as England, and they lost as much as $20 million more than the Brady folks,” he said. When will Bradyites see money’ “If everything goes perfectly, and it rarely does, we could have an agreement with the law firm’s insurance company within 90 days. Then it will take another 90 days to do the processing. So it could be about six months before they would get money. If it doesn’t happen then, I hope to have money to them by the end of the year,” he said last Thursday.

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