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Colorado man pleads guilty in Ponzi scheme

A 68-year-old former Fort Collins, Colorado, real estate agent entered a guilty plea last week after being charged with two counts of securities fraud.

The man, who is well-known as a softball coach and member of the national softball hall of fame, was accused of participating in a Ponzi scheme targeting Northern Colorado investors.

Allegedly, the man told investors, most of whom he had met while working as a broker-associate for Re/Max Alliance of Northern Colorado, that they could make high returns on investments including developments in Mexico.

But authorities accused the man of using the funds he received from investors to pay off loans that he owed to other people and personal living expenses instead.

According to authorities, the scheme took place between December 2006 and June 2009. There were at least five investors named in the indictment, the Coloradoan reported, two of which lived in Fort Collins and Windsor, Colorado.

The man was indicted in June of last year and is currently out on bond while he awaits sentencing on July 19. The 8th Judicial District Court judge could decide to sentence the man between a range from probation to eight years in prison, and any prison time would automatically carry five years of parole, the Coloradoan reported.

However, prior to the plea agreement, the man faced up to 96 years in prison, as the plea agreement dropped all but two of the eight counts the man initially faced.

As you can see, when facing serious charges such as fraud it is important to have a skilled attorney on your side who can help negotiate a favorable plea bargain, thereby reducing the chances of mandatory prison time.

Source: Coloradoan, "Brumit pleads guilty in Ponzi scheme," Robert Allen, 5/28/2011.

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