A former Ameriprise Financial Services broker was sentenced to 8 to 12 years in prison for stealing $335,000 from former clients.

Shane Selewach, 48, of Hyannis, Mass., was sentenced Wednesday by State Superior Court Judge Gary Nickerson after a jury found him guilty of six counts of larceny, six counts of securities fraud and transacting business as an unregistered broker-dealer, according to a statement released by the Massachusetts Attorney General's Office.

Besides serving at least eight years in prison, Selewach must also serve 10 years of probation and make $335,000 in restitution to his former clients. Under the sentence, Selewach will be barred from working as a fiduciary or having any role where he is a custodian of money after being released from prison.

"Many people trust their hard earned money to a financial advisor because they expect he will make financial decisions in their best interest in order to ensure a more secure future for them and their families. Mr. Selewach took advantage of that trust for his own personal benefit and today he was held accountable for his actions," AG Martha Coakley said.

Between July 2005 and November 2008, Selewach stole $335,000 from six clients and used the money to pay his mortgage and for traveling expenses, according to prosecutors. The clients he stole from included some of his long-time friends, according to prosecutors.

After a 12-day trial, a Barnstable County jury returned a guilty verdict after about three hours of deliberations.

A spokesman from the Massachusetts Attorney General's Office called Selewach's 8-to-12 year prison sentence for his $335,000 theft a just and equitable punishment for his crime.

"We think that is a fair and just result," said Harry Pierre, deputy press secretary for the Massachusetts Attorney General's Office. "The crimes were serious enough. He (Selewach) abused the trust of his clients. They trusted in him to invest their money, and he took their money instead for his own personal benefit. The crimes were serious enough and the court recognized the seriousness of the crime."          

Selewach worked for Ameriprise for nearly nine years before the company fired him in April 2006. He was accused of soliciting funds from clients to invest in commodities, hedge funds or real estate. He then used the client money for his personal benefit.

  -Jim McConville