The State of Colorado has reportedly indicted former LPL financial advisor Sonya D. Camarco on six counts of securities fraud and seven counts of theft for allegedly diverting more than $850,000 in customer money for her personal use between January 2013 and May. Ms. Camarco reportedly was terminated by LPL Financial in August 2017for “depositing third-party checks from client accounts into a bank account she controlled and accessing client funds for personal use.”
In a news release, the Colorado Securities Division stated that an LPL Securities internal investigation concluded that Ms. Camaro had caused checks to be drawn on customer accounts and deposited in an account she controlled, and that she was using the funds for personal expenditures.
In August 23, 2017, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) filed a civil complaint (the “Complaint”) against Ms. Camarco (“Camarco”) in federal court in Colorado. As alleged in the Complaint, Ms. Camarco’s fraudulent scheme involving misappropriation of client funds dates back to approximately 2004 and continued through at least August 2017.
According to publicly available information through FINRA’s BrokerCheck, Sonya Camarco (a/k/a Sonia D. Fatchett, Sonya D. Fatchett, Sonya D. Fatchett-Camarco) (CRD# 2427529) entered the securities industry in 1993. Since then, she has been affiliated with the following firms: Merrill Lynch (CRD# 7691) (1993-2000), Morgan Stanley (CRD# 7556) (2000-2004), and most recently – LPL (CRD# 6413) (2004-2017). Recent news reports indicate that LPL terminated Ms. Camarco’s employment on August 9, 2017, after uncovering a series of suspicious transfers.
The allegations in the Complaint suggest that Ms. Camarco, an LPL registered representative who operated her own affiliated advisory firm, Camarco Investments, cashed out clients’ investments without their consent. Further, as alleged in the Complaint, Ms. Camarco proceeded to funnel these client funds into ‘C Investments,’ an entity owned and controlled by Camarco. The Complaint alleges that misappropriated funds were used by Camarco for such unauthorized purposes as making personal mortgage payments, paying off credit cards (in an amount in excess of $462,000), and to fund the purchase of a home held in a trust Camarco created.
According to the SEC’s Complaint, LPL (a Boston, MA based brokerage firm dually registered with the SEC as a broker-dealer and investment adviser) commenced an investigation into Camarco’s dealings on or about July 27, 2017. The investigation was initiated after one of Camarco’s clients requested that LPL look into the matter of a check drawn on the client’s account and made payable to ‘C Investments.’ During the course of its investigation, LPL discovered several similar types of suspicious transactions involving Camarco’s clients occurring from 2004-2017.
The Complaint alleges that Camarco’s scheme affected approximately 15 clients and involves in excess of $2 million. Further, the Complaint alleges that when clients asked about withdrawals from their accounts, Ms. Camarco informed these clients that C Investments was a type of outside investment made on their behalf.
Ms. Camarco was suspended by FINRA on October 10, 2017 from associating with any FINRA member firm in any capacity, pursuant to FINRA Rule 9952, and in accordance with FINRA’s Notice of Suspension letter dated September 13, 2017. In the event that Ms. Camarco fails to request termination of the suspension within three months from the date of the Notice of Suspension, she will then automatically be barred from the securities industry on December 18, 2017.
The attorneys at Law Office of Christopher J. Gray, P.C. have significant experience in recovering funds on behalf of investors who have fallen victim to perpetrators of financial frauds, including Ponzi schemes. Investors with questions about a possible legal claim may contact our office at (866) 966-9598 or firstname.lastname@example.org for a no-cost, confidential consultation.