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Jessamine Woman Enters Guilty Plea In Securities Case

LEXINGTON, KY -- Jewell Robbins, the Jessamine County woman who has frequently tangled with regulators for selling shares in the 1901 Spindletop oil strike, pleaded guilty Friday to one count of failing to register with the state to sell securities, reports the Lexington Herald-Leader in its Saturday edition.

Robbins, 76, also known as Alvina Jewell Burgin, pleaded guilty before Fayette Circuit Judge James Ishmael. She is scheduled to be sentenced April 10.

Ron Bowling, the Lexington attorney who represents Robbins, said his client wanted to get the matter behind her.

"If it had been a fraud count or anything like that, she would not have pled guilty, but the simple fact is that she did not register as a broker, and what's true is true," he said. "She has some serious health conditions, and she did not feel strong enough to go to trial."

The maximum penalty is five years in prison, but prosecutor Andrea Williams recommended three years.

"We're going to argue for probation based upon her age and the nature of the offense, and the fact that she has no criminal record at all," Bowling said. "The prosecution is not going to oppose probation; they're going to stand silent on that issue."

Robbins was indicted in October by a Fayette County grand jury on four felony counts. As part of Friday's plea agreement, two counts charging Robbins with selling unregistered securities were dismissed, along with another count accusing her of fraudulent sales.

The charges were a result of an investigation by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the Kentucky Department of Financial Institutions.

In a statement, DFI commissioner Charles Vice thanked Fayette Commonwealth's Attorney Ray Larson's office for prosecuting the case, reports the Lexington Herald-Leader.

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