SEC gets court to freeze assets of former LPL broker

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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.

Ms. Camarco, who also has been known as Sonya Fatchett, was terminated by LPL on Aug. 9 for “depositing third-party checks from client accounts into a bank account she controlled and accessing client funds for personal use,” according to the BrokerCheck site operated by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc.

According to the SEC’s complaint, over the course of 13 years, Ms. Camarco, a resident of Colorado Springs, Colo., stole money from her clients’ accounts and then lied to her clients about the withdrawals. The SEC alleges that Ms. Camarco appears to have forged client signatures on checks made out to “C Investments,” an entity she used, and had the checks sent to a private post office box.

Ms. Camarco also allegedly liquidated securities in her clients’ accounts to make unauthorized payments to accounts she controlled. The complaint alleges that when confronted by clients, she lied and told them that C Investments was an outside investment that she made on their behalf. The complaint alleges that when confronted by LPL, Ms. 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 Ms. 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 complaint is seeking to have Ms. Camarco disgorge her allegedly ill-gotten gains plus interest, as well as seeking penalties and a permanent injunction against her.

Ms. Camarco began her securities career in 1993 at Merrill Lynch, moved to Morgan Stanley in 2000 and affiliated with LPL in 2004.