Placer County Woman Charged For An Investment Fraud Scheme That Targeted Investors In Failed Folsom Ponzi Scheme
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Kari Sonovich, 42, was arrested today at her home in Meadow Vista, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced. On January 31, 2014, a federal grand jury returned a three-count indictment, charging Sonovich with mail fraud. The indictment was unsealed today after her arrest. Sonovich is scheduled to be arraigned today in federal court in Sacramento at 2:00 p.m.
According to court documents, between July 2008 and April 2009, Sonovich recruited investors to invest with her Las Vegas company, B&B Consulting Group LLC, by telling them she could place their funds with an international trader who operated at an extremely high level, promising returns of up to 500 percent every 90 days. When investors deposited funds with her, Sonovich kept some or all of the funds for herself. The indictment alleges that Sonovich received more than $3 million from investors. To date, no investor has received the promised returns, and in most or all instances, no investor has received any of their initial investment back.
Some investors in Sonovich’s scheme became involved at the same time that an earlier investment fraud scheme in which they had invested was collapsing. Anthony Vassallo and Kenneth Kenitzer ran that Folsom-based Ponzi scheme through their company Equity Investment Management & Trading (EIMT). Both were convicted for that scheme, Vassallo is serving a 16-year prison sentence and Kenitzer is scheduled to be sentenced on February 14, 2014.
This case is the product of an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Jean M. Hobler is prosecuting the case.
If convicted, Sonovich faces a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of up to twice the losses resulting from the scheme. Any sentence, however, would be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables. The charges are only allegations; the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.