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Colorado Springs investment adviser indicted for securities fraud, theft

September 26, 2017 Updated: September 27, 2017 at 9:19 am
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Sonya D. Camarco. (El Paso County Sheriff's Office)

A state grand jury has indicted a Colorado Springs investment adviser on six counts of securities fraud and seven counts of theft for allegedly diverting $850,000 in client funds for her personal use between January 2013 and this May.

Sonya D. Camarco, 45, was fired by LPL Financial on Aug. 9 after 13 years with the Boston-based company after an internal investigation showed that "numerous checks had been drawn on several accounts belonging to Camarco's clients" and deposited in accounts that she controlled, says a news release issued Tuesday by the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies.

Camarco allegedly used the money for personal expenses ranging from credit card and tax payments to real estate purchases and automobile expenses, according to the indictment.

Camarco didn't return the money to investors, including an elderly woman with dementia, or tell them she was depositing the money in her account and using it for her expenses, the release said.

The indictment resulted from an investigation by the Colorado Division of Securities, which is part of the Department of Regulatory Agencies, and it's being prosecuted by the state Attorney General's Office.

A federal court in Denver froze all of Camarco's assets in August at the request of the Securities and Exchange Commission, which alleged in a lawsuit that she stole $2.87 million from about 15 clients and spent it paying her mortgages and credit card bills.

Camarco had filed with the Colorado Secretary of State's Office on June 22 to seek a seat on the Lewis-Palmer School District 38 Board of Education before withdrawing Aug. 8 and returning a $175 contribution made by a Palmer Lake retiree. A committee to back her candidacy also was formed and dissolved on the same dates.

She served from July 2014 to May on the Monument Academy Board of Directors, including as treasurer and president. A statement from the board said she had "no control, either directly or indirectly, of school funds," though she was listed as a signer of several of the school's bank accounts. The statement said she never signed a check, did not order any staff person to transfer funds, provided no investment advice concerning school funds, was not reimbursed for any expenses and school funds never were invested with LPL.

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