Criminal charges dismissed against Brooke executive

A federal judge has dismissed all criminal charges against former Brooke Corp. chief executive Leland Orr that arose out of the Overland Park-based firm’s decline in 2008.

Orr had faced one count of conspiracy to defraud the Securities and Exchange Commission and three counts of making false statements to the agency along with his brother and Brooke’s founder Robert Orr.

Robert Orr, who had faced additional charges, pleaded guilty last week to count of making a false statement to the SEC. Prosecutors are recommending Robert Orr be ordered to serve probation and pay a $48,000 fine.

In a motion Thursday to dismiss the charges against Leland Orr, federal prosecutors said the dismissal served the interests of justice better than continuing to pursue the case. The charges were dismissed Thursday.

John Jenab, an attorney representing Leland Orr, declined to comment.

Brooke Corp. had been a publicly traded company and part of a group of businesses in the insurance industry. The group sold insurance agency franchises, providing financing and other support as well.

In bringing charges last November, federal prosecutors said the brothers tried to conceal the companies’ financial problems as they ran desperately short of cash.

The criminal charges of making false statements to the SEC originally brought against the men carried maximum penalties of 20 years in prison and up to $5 million in fines.