Davis gets 10 years for stealing from investors
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – Craig Davis, who last year pleaded guilty to stealing investor funds from his construction finance company, on Thursday was sentenced to 10 years in state prison by District Judge Denise Lynch.
Davis, 62, of Silt, pleaded guilty on Dec. 20, 2012, to two counts of theft involving a total of nearly $665,000 from two investors.
In return, prosecutors dismissed the 14 remaining counts against Davis, amounting to approximately $1.3 million in alleged thefts, according to a statement by District Judge Denise Lynch.
At a hearing last December, Lynch noted that Davis might have been sentenced to up to 192 years in prison if he had been convicted on all 16 counts.
According to court documents, Davis was president and founder of the Americor Funding Corp., set up in 1993 as a local investment brokerage house for land development projects.
Through a complicated financial scheme, Davis would take in money from investors in this area and elsewhere, and combine it to provide funding for construction projects.
Repayment by contractors working on the projects, once the projects were finished, seemed to be working out, initially giving investors returns of 10 to 12 percent, according to court documents.
But in 2007, according to prosecutors, Davis started diverting Americor funds for his own purposes rather than paying back his investors.
Irate investors started contacting authorities in 2008, leading to an investigation and Davis’ arrest in December 2011 on eight counts of theft and eight counts of securities fraud.
He has been held in jail on a $160,000 bond since his arrest.
Members of his family, who were present in court, issued a written statement saying, “He is a good man that made some bad choices. It snowballed into something irreparable. We are sorry to the people who lost money because of this.”
But victims of his financial activities testified in court that Davis had caused them serious financial and emotional harm.
Trent Thompson of El Paso, Texas, speaking for his late father, Richard Thompson, did not name the amount Davis took.
But the younger Thompson stated that his father died of a stroke three years ago, shortly after learning he had lost nearly half a million dollars through Davis’ dealings.
“I despise Craig Davis,” Thompson told the judge, adding that his father “did not have a good head for business” and that he “did not understand what was going on” in 2009 when Davis’ financial house of cards fell apart.
Accusing Davis of trying to cover up the nature of his misdeeds, and of trying to blame the collapse on “anyone but himself,” Thompson said of Davis, “His actions, I think, speak louder than his words.”
Prosecutor Scott Turner told the court Davis deserved the maximum sentence outlined in the plea bargain, declaring, “He has no regard for anybody but himself” and no plan for repaying his victims.
Davis’ attorney, Charles “Chip” McCrory, noted that his client was afflicted with bipolar disorder and was seized by “manic episodes” in which “he thought he’d become the real estate king of Colorado.”
Davis, speaking on his own behalf, apologized to the courtroom for his crimes.
Davis claimed that his medication gave him a high “like taking cocaine, though I’ve never taken cocaine.”
When he was in the grip of these highs, he said, “people started throwing money at me.”
He later said, “I didn’t think about anybody’s money belonging to them. It belonged to me.”
But, he admitted, “I did what [the victims and the prosecution] say, and I am worthy of this punishment.”
Judge Lynch, after Davis had finished, told the court, “In my experience, people think that these white collar crimes don’t hurt people as much as a murder.”
But, she continued, “They’re not victimless crimes” and said she treats them every bit as seriously as violent crimes.
She instructed McCrory and prosecutor Scott Turner to get together about an appropriate amount of restitution to require of Davis, though she told the victims, “Quite frankly, you’ll probably never see a dime.”
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