Colorado Springs investment adviser Sonja D. Camarco has been sentenced to 20 years in prison after pleading guilty to single counts of securities fraud and theft totaling more than $1.8 million.
Camarco, 47, is to serve consecutive sentences for the fraud and theft counts plus a simultaneous 20 years of probation for filing a false state income tax return. She also was ordered to pay $1.84 million in restitution to her former clients. Her pleas were part of a plea agreement, and 18th Judicial District Judge David Stevens sentenced her in September.
A state grand jury had indicted her in September 2017 on six counts of securities fraud and seven counts of theft for allegedly diverting client funds for her personal use between 2013 and 2017. She used the money to pay credit card and tax debts, buy real estate and cover automobile expenses, the indictment said.
The Boston-based LPL Financial fired Camarco in 2017 after an internal investigation showed that many checks had been drawn on several of her clients’ accounts and deposited in accounts she controlled. LPL referred the case to the Colorado Division of Securities, which launched the investigation that led to the indictment.
“Cases involving securities professionals that we license and who are accused of theft of client funds are a top enforcement priority for us,” Colorado Securities Commissioner Gerald Rome said in a news release Wednesday. “Professionals who hold these trusted positions, but who nevertheless commit these types of crimes, should know that the resulting penalty will be severe.”
A federal court in Denver froze Camarco’s assets in 2017 at the request of the Securities and Exchange Commission, which alleged in a lawsuit that she stole $2.8 million from at least 16 clients. The agency asked the court in October for a summary judgment totaling $2.53 million against Camarco, her husband and a trust they controlled. The court has yet to rule on the motion.
Camarco filed with the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office last year to run for a seat on the Lewis-Palmer School District 38 school board but withdrew weeks later. She served nearly three years on the Monument Academy board, but a school statement says she never controlled school money.
Camarco spent 13 years with LPL Financial before she was fired. She worked for Morgan Stanley between 2000 and 2004 and Merrill Lynch between 1993 and 2000.
Contact Wayne Heilman 636-0234