DENVER – Attorney General John Suthers announced that on Tuesday, February 24, 2009, the Larimer County District Court sentenced Rick Van Vleet ("Van Vleet") of Fort Collins, Colorado, to a 10 year prison term for operating a fraudulent investment scheme that raised nearly three million dollars from investors, including senior citizens. In November 2008 Van Vleet pleaded guilty to one count of securities fraud, a Class Three Felony, in the criminal action brought against him by the Attorney General’s securities fraud unit.
In addition to the term of incarceration, Van Vleet was ordered to pay restitution of $2.99 million. Attorney General John Suthers stated, “This office remains committed to the investigation and aggressive prosecution of white collar crime throughout Colorado. These crimes typically inflict financial devastation upon good and hard-working citizens of Colorado and will not be tolerated.”
According to the 2008 grand jury indictment, Van Vleet made untrue statements of material fact about how he would invest and otherwise use the investors’ money, and diverted investor funds for his personal use. At the sentencing hearing, Judge Jolene Blair stated that she believed Van Fleet posed a serious risk to the community as a basis for the sentence. The case was investigated and prosecuted by the Office of the Attorney General under the direction of Senior Assistant Attorney General Michael Bellipanni of the Colorado Attorney General’s Securities Fraud Unit.