Loveland businessman sentenced to six years in prison for securities fraud

DENVER (April 17, 2015) – Adams County District Court Judge Thomas Ensor sentenced John Walshe, 69, of Loveland, Wednesday to six years in prison for securities fraud and check fraud in a scheme in which he took more than $200,000 from a Silverthorne man.
 
Walshe, the owner of American Imaging Company, was convicted after a trial in February. Walshe also received five years of parole after his release from prison. Walshe first ran afoul of the Colorado Securities Division in 2009, when the Division issued a Cease and Desist order following an investigation into a newspaper advertisement for what turned out to be unregistered investments. Walshe had also failed to become properly licensed with the state.
 
In 2010, completely disregarding the order, he continued luring investors through newspaper advertisements for promissory notes for which he promised 15 to 18 percent interest rates. He subsequently robbed one victim of $205,000, spending most of the money on his own personal expenses. The victim reported the theft to the Adams County District Attorney’s office after Walshe stopped answering his calls, and the victim found his office space vacated.
 
“This is a case that began in 2011,” said District Attorney Dave Young. “Our office was tenacious in pursuing this case in the face of years of delay because of other charges the defendant faced. I am thankful for the work of our economic crime unit that we established last year and the persistence of our prosecution team that made sure this defendant was brought to justice.”
 
Young said these kinds of crimes are all too common. He urged people to check out anyone soliciting investment monies by checking public records for criminal histories, civil judgments, bankruptcies and actions taken by the Division of Securities. Newspaper or internet ads soliciting funds for an investment or business venture should raise red flags for anyone considering such an investment. In perpetrating the con, Walshe failed to disclose a variety of material facts to his investor, a requirement of the Colorado Securities Act that aims to protect investors by ensuring that they are provided with all the facts that may affect a decision over whether or not to put money toward an offering.
 
Walshe hid the fact that he or companies he controlled had previously filed for bankruptcy three times, that many civil actions were filed against him involving unpaid notes and debts, and that he was prosecuted and convicted of federal criminal acts involving theft and tax evasion. When the victim asked him about the Cease and Desist order after reading about it in the news, Walshe lied, stating that he was only barred from soliciting more investors, and that the order did not pertain to current investors. In fact, the order prohibited Walshe from engaging in any participation in the securities industry in Colorado.
 
Colorado Securities Commissioner Gerald Rome commented, “We appreciate the investigative and prosecutorial work of the 17th Judicial District Attorney’s office in removing from the community a true career criminal, who proved he would not have stopped cheating unsuspecting victims.”
 
Walshe will serve his sentence for the Colorado case consecutive to the 2010 federal sentence for tax evasion.
 
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Media Contact:
Jillian Sarmo
Division of Securities
p: 303-894-2878