Former LPL broker sentenced to 20 years for stealing from clients

Sonya Camarco pleaded guilty to forging checks, depositing clients funds into her personal accounts

Nov 2, 2018 @ 2:20 pm

By Jeff Benjamin

Former LPL Financial broker Sonya Camarco was sentenced on Oct. 31 to 20 years in prison for stealing $1.8 million from her clients.

Ms. Camarco, 46, received 10 years for one count of securities fraud and 10 years for one count of theft over $100,000. She also received a probation sentence of 20 years for one count of filing false tax returns, which is to be served concurrently with the prison sentence.

Ms. Camarco, based in Colorado Springs, Colo., was indicted in September 2017 on six counts of securities fraud and seven counts of theft.

She pleaded guilty after a Colorado grand jury indictment charged her with diverting more than $1.8 million in client assets for personal use between January 2013 and May 2017.

According to Finra's BrokerCheck database, Ms. Camarco worked at LPL from 2004 until August 2017, when she was fired and barred from the brokerage industry. Prior to LPL, she worked for three years at Morgan Stanley and for six years at Merrill Lynch Pierce Fenner & Smith.

According to BrokerCheck, there were nine customer disputes filed against Ms. Camarco between June and December of 2017.

In August of 2017, the Securities and Exchange Commission obtained an emergency court order and asset freeze preventing Ms. Camarco from further dissipating stolen client assets. According to the SEC's 2017 complaint, Ms. Camarco stole money from her clients' accounts and then lied to them about the withdrawals.

According to a statement from the Colorado Securities Commissioner, following an internal investigation conducted by LPL in July 2017 regarding a suspicious check drawn on a client account, it was discovered that multiple checks had been drawn on several accounts belonging to Ms. Camarco's clients payable to an account controlled by Ms. Camarco.

LPL further learned that Ms. Camarco was endorsing checks from clients' accounts made payable to an account she controlled.

LPL did not immediately respond to a request for comment for this story.

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