DENVER (CBS4) — Banned twice by the state for fraudulent practices, a Lone Tree man couldn’t resist the temptation to solicit funds from investors a third time. For his deception, Kelly James Schnorenberg was convicted in October and sentenced in December on 25 counts of securities fraud.
Schnorenberg, 59, of Lone Tree, was sentenced to 76 years in the Colorado Department of Corrections for his crimes.
Schnorenberg’s case was investigated by the Colorado Division of Securities and prosecuted by the Colorado Attorney General’s Office, which said Schrorenberg raised more than $16 million from more than 240 investors in this latest scheme.
Schnorenberg had been sued twice by the state between 1999 and 2005 for deceptive investment practices. Those suits resulted in his permanent ban from selling securities in Colorado.
Investigators discovered Schnorenberg was gathering investors’ funds again in May of 2009 — without disclosing his previous penalties to any of them. Schnorenberg steered clients toward investment in insurance marketing organizations on the promise of high returns, but switched their money into other personal funds without notifying investors. He also knowingly transferred money into new funds he knew were struggling but did not alert his investors.
He was arrested in 2015 and later convicted by a Douglas County jury after a four-week trial.
“The court’s sentence sends a strong message that stealing Coloradans hard earned money will not be tolerated, and perpetrators will be discovered and prosecuted to the full extent of the law,” said Attorney General Cynthia H. Coffman. “I hope that this outcome and Mr. Schnorenberg’s long jail sentence will provide some sense of justice to victims of this terrible fraud.”
“We hope that this news serves as a potent warning to investors that if a deal sounds too good to be true, it often is,” said Securities Commissioner Chris Myklebust.
Schnorenberg immediately began serving his sentence after the December 31st hearing.