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Destiny of ex-Avon resident charged with funding fraud, theft of $259,000 in arms of jury

Share this…FacebookPinterestTwitterLinkedin Andrew Thacker, left, a former Avon resident charged with felony funding fraud and theft, is questioned by Colorado…

By Staff , in Retirement Accounts , at June 26, 2021

Andrew Thacker, left, a former Avon resident charged with felony funding fraud and theft, is questioned by Colorado Senior Assistant Legal professional Common Jason Slothouber on Friday in Eagle.
Kelli Duncan/[email protected]

Within the last day of the trial of Andrew Thacker, a former Avon resident who allegedly cheated a good friend out of $259,000, the prosecution tried to show to the jury that Thacker displayed a sample of deceitful conduct to chop via the protection’s assertions that he’s a sufferer himself.

Thacker, who owns quite a few companies within the renewable vitality sector, is charged with securities fraud and theft, each class 3 felonies, for an allegedly fraudulent funding he promoted to Edward Koziol in 2015, in keeping with charging paperwork.

The protection has tried to show that Thacker didn’t return Koziol’s cash as a result of he was so determined to fund his ventures within the renewable vitality sector that he himself turned entrapped in a rip-off.

This doesn’t negate the truth that Thacker omitted data and blatantly lied to Koziol to get him to speculate greater than 1 / 4 of one million {dollars} of his inheritance cash, the prosecutor, Colorado Senior Assistant Legal professional Common Jason Slothouber, stated in his closing argument.

“If you happen to’re a shark like Mr. Thacker and also you prey on a fish like Mr. Koziol, be careful as a result of there’s larger sharks within the ocean,” Slothouber stated of Thacker’s personal victimization.

The protection claims Koziol gave Thacker a private mortgage that Thacker was unable to repay as a result of he fell sufferer to a “prime financial institution scheme,” a method utilized by high-level scammers by which somebody is requested to place up giant quantities of cash to get in on an unique — non-existent — buying and selling platform or banking alternative.

“(Thacker) is likely one of the two victims on this case,” Thacker’s protection lawyer, Gary Lozow, stated in his closing argument Friday.

Private mortgage or funding?

All week, the prosecution and the protection danced round just a few questions that shall be central to the jury’s deliberation over Thacker’s guilt or lack thereof.

The primary is whether or not the inheritance cash that Koziol gave Thacker in the summertime of 2015 was a private mortgage or an funding. It will decide whether or not the transaction is protected by the anti-fraud provision of the Colorado Securities Act, which considers investments as “securities,” however not loans.

When questioned by the prosecution Friday, Thacker maintained that he thought-about the cash as a mortgage and had described it to Koziol as such.

In a sampling of e-mail correspondences between Thacker and Koziol offered by the prosecution, Thacker referred to the cash as an “funding.” Koziol testified that it was all the time communicated to him as an funding alternative to enter a deal orchestrated by Thacker, who he stated was his finest good friend on the time, to get on to the elite “Tier One” buying and selling platform which, in fact, turned out to be a rip-off.

Thacker admitted he was not conscious of a single e-mail among the many greater than 8,000 subpoenaed as proof by the lawyer normal’s workplace by which he referred to the transaction as a mortgage or private mortgage.

He stated he used totally different language when chatting with Koziol in particular person or on the telephone and that, when he stated funding, he meant “an funding in me.”

Andrew Thacker (left) speaks with a witness in his case, patent lawyer Bradley Knepper, on Wednesday, on the courthouse in Eagle.
Kelli Duncan/[email protected]

Thacker testified that he wanted a private mortgage from Koziol to safe a financial institution warranty that his scammers stated would enable him to pool cash with big-time traders and acquire entry to “Tier One,” the place he may double his cash in just some months. He admitted that he didn’t inform Koziol concerning the financial institution warranty and lied about what he actually did with a lot of the cash.

The state makes use of a four-pronged take a look at referred to as the “Howey Check” to find out if a transaction is an funding or not, stated Gerald Rome, a former Colorado securities commissioner and professional witness referred to as by the prosecution.

For one thing to be thought-about an funding, there should, in fact, be an funding of cash, that funding should be made right into a “frequent enterprise” that features at the very least the investor and the vendor, and there should be an expectation to earn a revenue.

Lastly, that revenue should be achieved via profitable managerial effort demonstrated by the enterprise which, on this case, can be Thacker, stated Sarah Domke, one other prosecutor on the case.

The prosecution argued that the transaction happy each side of this take a look at. Koziol gave Thacker a sum of cash in checks to Avra Power, Thacker’s enterprise, and was underneath the impression that it could be invested in a buying and selling platform which might flip a revenue in three to 4 months’ time. The arrival of this revenue was dependent upon the administration of the funds by Thacker, prosecutors stated.

To again up these assertions, the prosecution highlighted an e-mail by which Thacker referred to the cash Koziol was purported to make on the transaction as “revenue” and one other the place he stated he by no means ought to have “introduced him in” on the “deal.” This, they stated, will not be language usually used round loans.

The protection, then again, stated the transaction was clearly a mortgage settlement and, given Thacker’s certifications on this planet of securities, he was properly conscious of the distinction.

Gary Lozow, a Denver-based protection lawyer, offers his closing argument within the trial of Andrew Thacker on Friday.
Kelli Duncan/[email protected]

If the jury determines that the transaction was certainly an funding, jurors will then must determine whether or not Thacker’s dealing with of the funding violated the anti-fraud provision of the Colorado Securities Act, which is triggered when the vendor of an funding omits or misrepresents “materials info” related to the funding.

Materials info embrace the dangers concerned with the funding, the monetary situation of the enterprise and the way the investor’s funds shall be used, amongst different issues.

The cash path

In his closing argument, Slothouber informed jurors that the one factor they wanted to have a look at in deciding Thacker’s guilt are the lies he informed Koziol round how he used his $259,000.

Among the cash went to Thacker’s enterprise accomplice in Mexico, Abdel Rodriguez Lizarraga, in keeping with copies of Thacker’s financial institution statements produced by the prosecution. Thacker thought Lizarraga was coordinating with him to get the financial institution warranty for the deal however, in actuality, he was in on the prime financial institution scheme Thacker was ensnared in.

However Thacker spent the remainder of Koziol’s cash on private expenditures utterly unrelated to the deal — a brand-new Audi, paying off bank card debt and authorized charges, and stops at King Soopers and Taco Bell.

Koziol wrote the final of six checks to Thacker in August of 2015 and all $259,000 was passed by the top of September, the prosecution stated.

Thacker stated shopping for a brand new Audi was a mandatory “advertising” measure meant to impress a possible investor in his renewable vitality enterprise who was visiting him in Vail.

Not solely did Thacker “willfully deceive” Koziol about utilizing his cash to buy the automobile, however it was bought to mislead different potential traders concerning the extent of his private wealth and success within the hopes of securing an funding, Slothouber stated.

“I believed I had full authority (to buy the automobile) as a result of it was a private mortgage,” Thacker stated.

Slothouber stated that, if Thacker believed this to be true, he may have stated this to Koziol however, in keeping with e-mail proof, he didn’t. As a substitute, he informed Koziol that the automobile was bought utilizing funds from his 401K and his spouse’s particular person retirement account.

This wasn’t the one time that Thacker willfully mislead somebody, the prosecution stated.

Slothouber produced proof that Thacker lied on an employment reference letter in 2015 to assist a person named James Dunsing get an condominium. He additionally produced emails the place Thacker talks about doing “the two-step” to delay telling an actual property agent he was working with that he didn’t afford a $3 million house that he had entered into contract negotiations to buy.

This brings ahead the second query jurors should reply as they deliberate Friday night: Did Thacker act in “good religion” or did he willfully mislead Koziol concerning the alternative main as much as his funding in 2015?

Lozow, Thacker’s lawyer, stated Thacker acted in “good religion” as a result of he unwittingly handed on false details about the deal to Koziol that his scammers have been feeding him.

The prosecution, then again, stated Thacker nonetheless omitted details about the financial institution warranty and lied about his intentions to make use of a lot of Koziol’s cash to cowl his personal private bills.

Slothouber stated Thacker has by no means had any intention of paying again Koziol even to today. Thacker refuted this, saying that he had taken a place because the chief working officer and now chief govt officer of an organization in Texas — the place he now lives — so as to pay Koziol again.

Slothouber requested Thacker, if that was the case, why he hadn’t repaid Koziol. In spite of everything, Thacker testified that he had an estimated $800,000 in paintings, was making funds on a $340,000 rental in Texas and was making over $200,000 yearly in his new function, Slothouber stated.

Thacker hinted at having supplied Koziol a settlement via his lawyer after prices have been introduced in opposition to him, however stated he had not paid again any of what he owed to Koziol straight.

Thacker’s destiny was positioned within the arms of the jury members simply after 4:30 p.m. Friday afternoon.

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