Colorado has indicted former LPL broker Sonya Camarco on six counts of securities fraud and seven counts of theft for allegedly diverting more than $850,000 in client funds for personal use between January 2013 and May 2017.
The indictment was the result of the investigative efforts of the Colorado Division of Securities, part of the Department of Regulatory Agencies. The case is being prosecuted by the Colorado Attorney General’s Office. Last month, the SEC obtained an emergency court order to freeze Camarco’s assets, as reported by The DI Wire.
“Cases involving securities professionals that we license and who are accused of theft of client funds are a top enforcement priority for us,” commented Colorado securities commissioner Gerald Rome. “It is imperative for us to act as swiftly as possible when a licensed investment adviser representative and broker-dealer sales representative is engaging in this kind of misconduct in our backyard.”
Carmarco became an investment adviser representative and registered representative for LPL Financial beginning in February 2004. Following an internal investigation by LPL in July of 2017 regarding a suspicious check drawn on a client account, it was discovered that numerous checks had been drawn on several accounts belonging to Camarco’s clients.
LPL Financial uncovered that Carmaco was endorsing checks from clients’ accounts made payable to an account she controlled. She deposited the funds into accounts for which she was the signatory, although her clients did not authorize the investment of their funds into the accounts. LPL terminated Carmarco’s employment early last month for her role in the alleged fraudulent investment scheme.
The indictment alleges that Camarco used client funds for various personal expenditures such as credit card payments, real estate, taxes, and automobile expenses.
The filing of criminal charges is a formal accusation that an individual committed a crime, and defendants should be presumed innocent until proven guilty.