DENVER - Colorado Attorney General John W. Suthers, and Colorado Securities Commissioner Fred J. Joseph, announced today the arrest of Mark Steven Blakemore of Erie, Colorado, (DOB: 11/20/56) for his alleged participation in a securities scam in the Boulder-Denver area.
Blakemore was arrested on a warrant issued by the Denver District Court following the return of an indictment by the Colorado State Grand Jury on September 8, 2006. Blakemore was indicted on seventeen counts of securities fraud and six counts of theft in connection with the sale of securities in Colorado, all class three felonies.
It is alleged that Blakemore sold phony investments, through his company, Great Plains Financial, LLC, to at least thirty-eight investors totaling over $3.2 million. It is alleged that Blakemore represented to investors that his company, Great Plains Financial, sold “short term corporate debentures” which paid investors an exceedingly high rate of return. Blakemore allegedly represented to investors that he had a confidential trading relationship with a major bank ranked in the top 25 worldwide which generated substantial profits when no such relationship existed. It is further alleged that Blakemore either sent the investors monies to Michael W. Conley of Shawnee, Kansas, and his company, Konza Financial, who paid Blakemore significant commissions, or was kept for Blakemore’s own personal use.
In March of 2006, Michael W. Conley entered a plea agreement with the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia for his role in a scheme to defraud investors through his company, Konza Financial. Conley, in his plea agreement, waived being indicted in exchange for a plea of guilty to one count of mail fraud. Conley was sentenced to seven years in federal prison on his plea of guilty.
Blakemore was arrested on September 8, 2006, and posted bond in the amount of $50,000.
“Mr. Blakemore is accused of targeting teachers, convincing them to turn over their hard-earned money to a non-existent investment scheme,” said Attorney General Suthers. “This case is just another example of the successful partnership between our office and the Division of Securities.”
Commissioner Joseph said, “The investment scheme promoted by Mr. Blakemore appears to be a variation of the ‘prime bank note’ schemes that have been circulating for years. This type of scheme continues to make regulator’s top ten list of investor’s traps.” Commissioner Joseph cautions investors to check out any investment opportunity, especially those promising high rates of return.
(Note: Any indictment is merely an accusation and any defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in a court of law).