SEC Obtains Asset Freeze Against Former LPL Broker Charged with Stealing Client Funds
The Securities and Exchange Commission has obtained an emergency court order and asset freeze preventing former LPL broker Sonya Camarco from further dissipating stolen client assets. Camarco was affiliated with LPL Financial from 2004 until 2017, and Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch previously.
According to their complaint, over the course of 13 years, Camarco stole money from her clients’ accounts and then lied to her clients about the withdrawals. The SEC alleges that she appears to have forged client signatures on checks made out to an entity called “C Investments,” and had the checks sent to a private post office box that she rented.
The checks were deposited to a bank account in the name of “Camarco Investments Inc.,” an entity for which Camarco is the sole registered agent and which shares an address with her office. She also allegedly liquidated securities in her clients’ accounts to make unauthorized payments to accounts she controlled.
The complaint alleges that when confronted by clients, Camarco told them that C Investments was an outside investment that she made on their behalf. The complaint alleges that when confronted by her employer, Camarco lied again, saying that she had no affiliation with C Investments and characterizing it as an outside investment held by one of her advisory clients. The SEC alleges that Camarco used the stolen client funds to pay her personal credit card bills and her mortgages.
The SEC also charged Camarco Investments Inc. and Camarco Living Trust as relief defendants based on their alleged receipt of stolen client funds.
The SEC’s complaint, filed in federal court in Colorado, seeks disgorgement of allegedly ill-gotten gains plus interest from all the defendants and seeks a permanent injunction against and penalties from Camarco.