DENVER – Colorado Attorney General John Suthers today announced a seven-count indictment against Fort Collins resident Rick D. Van Vleet (DOB 12/9/44) for an alleged investment fraud scam which netted more than $2.9 million from 26 investors. Van Vleet was indicted by the Statewide Grand Jury on five counts of securities fraud and two counts of theft over $15,000. If convicted on all counts, the defendant could face 84 years in prison and more than $5 million in fines
Between February of 2003 and June of 2005, Van Vleet is accused of promising high-rate returns through an initial investment in music kiosks. The TouchStand kiosks, for which investors were charged $10,000 per unit, allow users to play and download MP3 files for a fee and display advertisements while not in use. The indictment alleges that Van Vleet would solicit investments ranging from $10,000 to $400,000, while failing to disclose required information to his clients, including the fact that he had been previously enjoined from securities transactions in 1988.
A portion of the monies brought-in by Van Vleet were forwarded to Synergy Media Group for kiosk production. However, a significant amount of the $2.9 million was allegedly deposited by Van Vleet into his personal accounts. All of the money invested remains past due and unpaid.
Van Vleet was arrested on March 11, and is being held in Larimer County jail in lieu of a $500,000 bond. It should be noted, any criminal complaint is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.