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Colorado Springs businessman accused of racketeering and fraud

A Colorado Springs businessman has been accused of a number of white collar crimes, including securities fraud and racketeering. Prosecutors claim that he misappropriated approximately $8.5 million in investments raised from 19 different people, using the money for his own expenses and to run other business ventures unrelated to the company they were told they were investing in.

The 42-year-old businessman has been indicted by a grand jury, and an arrest warrant has been issued for him.

He is accused of using his company, Continental Resort Homes, to solicit investment funds from individuals beginning in 2006. The solicitations were said to have continued through 2011. The company purported to be involved in the purchasing of vacation homes.

The indictment claims, however, that investment funds raised for that purpose were not spent on vacation homes, but misappropriated. It further states that the defendant made personal mortgage payments with some of the funds, along with rent payments, auto loan payments, and personal credit card bills. He owned some other businesses, and purportedly used some of the funds to operate them. Prosecutors say that he also used some misappropriated funds to make payments due to investors in his other business ventures.

Investigators assert that he falsified financial statements for his vacation home business, understating its debts and overstating the number of investors and assets, in a manner designed to fool investors. He allegedly lied to investors about the company owning vacation homes which it had no investment in.

Prosecutors state that the company now has no assets and that those who invested in it are not likely to recover their money. The defendant, if convicted of the charges, could be incarcerated for up to 24 years.

Source: Colorado Springs Gazette, "Springs businessman indicted on fraud, racketeering charges," Sept. 27, 2012

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