Colorado Springs financial adviser sentenced to 20 years in prison

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - Update (10/31/2018):

The Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) announced Wednesday that Sonya D. Camarco has been sentenced to a total of 20 years in prison.

According to DORA Camarco received 10 years for one count of securities fraud and 10 years for one count of theft over $100,000 for a total of 20 years.

Carmaco was a licensed investment adviser representative and sales representative with LPL Financial.

It was previously reported that Carmaco diverted more than $850,000 in client funds between January 2013 and May 2017.
The total has grown to more than $1.8 million.

Carmaco's sentencing date was last month on the 21st of September.

The Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) released information Tuesday that a Colorado Springs financial adviser was indicted Thursday by a Colorado grand jury.

Sonya D. Camarco, 45, faces six counts of securities fraud and seven counts of theft.

Camarco was with LPL Financial Holdings since she became a representative in February 2004, which on their site claims to be "the largest independent broker-dealer in the United States" with "more than 14,000 financial advisors."

She allegedly diverted more than $850,000 in client funds for her own personal use between January 2013 and May 2017. She is accused of using the funds for credit card payments, real estate, taxes and automobile expenses.

LPL Financial Holdings conducted their own investigation in July 2017 based off of a suspicious check. There, the company discovered several checks were previously drawn on different accounts belonging to Camarco's clients, payable to an account completely controlled by Camarco. The investigation also revealed she was allegedly endorsing the checks from her clients' accounts going into her controlled account, meaning clients did not authorize the investments themselves. At that time, she was fired from her job.

DORA says she did not return funds to the investors or disclose she was placing them in her own "Camarco Investments" account. DORA says one of her clients included an elderly woman with dementia.

“Coloradans should be able to trust licensed professionals with their hard earned money,” said Colorado Attorney General Cynthia H. Coffman. “We appreciate our partners at DORA and we will continue to work diligently to ensure that Colorado consumers are protected.”

The indictment stemmed from an investigation by the Colorado Division of Securities, which is part of DORA. The case is being prosecuted by the Colorado Attorney General’s Office.

“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.”

“Consumer protection is our mission, and this case demonstrates that we take that role very seriously,” said DORA Executive Director Marguerite Salazar. “I appreciate the commitment of the Division of Securities and the Attorney Generals Office to protect Coloradans from any further harm.”

Camarco is now in jail with a $100,000 bond. A mugshot was not immediately available.