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Placer County woman accused of investment fraud

Published: Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014 - 8:00 pm

A Placer County woman has been charged in an investment fraud scheme that allegedly targeted victims of a failed Folsom-based Ponzi scheme.

Kari Sonovich, 42, was arrested today at her home in Meadow Vista. On Jan. 31, a federal grand jury returned a three-count indictment, charging her with mail fraud. The indictment was unsealed today after her arrest, according to a federal Department of Justice news release.

According to court documents, between July 2008 and April 2009, Sonovich recruited people 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. But when investors deposited funds with her, Sonovich allegedly kept some or all the funds for herself. The indictment alleges that she received more than $3 million from investors. To date, no investor has received the promised returns, and in most or all instances, investors have not received any of their initial investment back, authorities said.

Some people who invested in Sonvich’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 and Trading. Both were convicted for that scheme. Vassallo is serving a 16-year-prison sentence and Kenitzer is to be sentenced Feb. 14.

The Sonovich case resulted from an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service.

Call The Bee’s Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.

Read more articles by Cathy Locke

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