Bruner was accused of selling unregistered securities in violation of Texas state law. Bruner sold soap in an MLM structure to Owens who bought into the program based on representations that he would not have to perform any work to realize a profit. When Owens unsuccessfully attempted to get his money back, he complained to the state that Bruner had sold him an unregistered security. He was convicted at the trial level and appealed claiming that the state's definition of an investment contract did not encompass the type of transaction that he engaged in.
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