Lauritsen Sentenced, Ordered to Pay Restitution in Connection with Alleged Financial Fraud in Religious Circle
A Boulder, Colorado judge passed sentencing on 50-year-old Texan, Kevin Lauritsen, today in connection with financial fraud allegations tied to a community church.
Lauritsen received four years in prison for his role in what prosecutors say was a Ponzi scheme that swindled nearly $1 million from unsuspecting Boulder investors.
For the sake of sentencing, Lauritsen pleaded guilty in December to charges including felony, conspiracy to commit securities fraud, and misdemeanor theft. (It is reported that prosecutors dismissed several other charges in exchange for the admission.)
According to Judge Gwyneth Whalen, Lauritsen appeared sorry after he made a long, teary-eyed apology to the court and victims. Whalen also stated that she believed Lauritsen had not initially intended to commit fraud.
Arrest warrant affidavits for Lauritsen indicate that he, Loren Ankarlo, and Douglas Wertzbaugher stole thousands of dollars through an investment scheme. Prosecutors state that Ankarlo allegedly approached people he knew through a local church where he served as a pastor.
"It is just breaching trust at the most basic level. Our faith," purported fraud victim Mark Santon stated. Ankarlo, who pleaded guilty to alleged securities fraud last month, is scheduled for sentencing on February 11, 2011.