Former Avon resident found guilty on fraud, theft charges
An Eagle County jury finds Andrew Thacker guilty for having conned a close friend out of $259,000
A jury found Andrew Thacker, a former Avon resident, guilty on charges of securities fraud and theft, both class 3 felonies, in a decision delivered late Friday.
Thacker was charged with fraud and theft after he allegedly conned a friend out of $259,000 on a fraudulent investment and then used the money to cover personal expenses, including the purchase of a new Audi S6, according to testimony delivered during the trial last week.
Thacker will appear before Judge Reed W. Owens on the morning of Sept. 13 for his sentencing.
His convictions hold a potential sentence of four to 12 years in prison and/or fines ranging from $3,000 to $750,000. The felony theft charge carries a mandatory five-year parole and often calls for restitution to be paid to the victim, according to Colorado state statute.
The defense mounted a case that the investment opportunity promoted by Thacker to his victim was actually a personal loan, giving him the freedom to use the money as he saw fit. Lawyers also argued that Thacker unwittingly gave the victim, Edward Koziol, false information about the situation surrounding the investment because Thacker himself had fallen victim to a high-level scam known as prime bank fraud.
Support Local Journalism
The two were close friends and had been living together in Avon at the time of the crime, according to testimony given last week.
“(Thacker) is one of the two victims in this case,” Thacker’s defense attorney, Gary Lozow, said in his closing argument Friday.
The prosecution argued that the notion that Thacker was also scammed does not change the fact that he purposefully omitted information and lied to Koziol to get him to invest more than a quarter of a million dollars of his inheritance money.
“If you’re a shark like Mr. Thacker, and you prey on a fish like Mr. Koziol, watch out, because there’s bigger sharks in the ocean,” Colorado Senior Assistant Attorney General Jason Slothouber said in his closing argument.
Ultimately, the jury found that the facts of the case met the standards for prosecution set forth by the anti-fraud provision of the Colorado Securities Act and found Thacker to be guilty on both counts, District Attorney for the 5th Judicial District Heidi McCollum said in a written statement.
Thacker has the option to appeal this decision in the Colorado Court of Appeals if desired. Neither Thacker nor Lozow could be reached for comment Monday morning.
Dana Christiansen, another defense attorney on Thacker’s case, said Monday that he did not know whether Thacker intends to appeal the verdict.
Email Kelli Duncan at firstname.lastname@example.org