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    Lakewood Man Convicted of Securities Fraud

    A Lakewood man was convicted today by a Jefferson County jury of four counts of violation of the Colorado Securities Act for fraudulent activities involving an investment club he organized in 2006.

    Arthur Joseph Dertina, DOB: 3-19-39, organized an investment club called the Denver Stock Market Investors Club (DSMIC). It was a general partnership with its main office located in Lakewood. The fraudulent activity is alleged to have occurred between October 2006 and June 2008.

    Following a joint investigation between the Lakewood Police Department, the Colorado Division of Securities and the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office Dertina was indicted by a Jefferson County grand jury in August 2011.

    The DSMIC offered investors the opportunity to meet monthly to learn about investment strategy and to make regular investments. Members were required to sign a one-page agreement which set out the rules and by-laws of the club. The agreement required that members vote on the purchase of new stocks or any changes to their existing portfolio.

    Dertina changed the bylaws and rules without consulting the members. Over time members began to notice that they were having less input as Dertina began to make all investment decisions without the members’ consent.

    Dertina illegally used some of the investment club’s money for his personal expenses. He also used the investment club’s money to start several new businesses which were primarily “shell” companies to siphon money from the club.  Investors were not told that the money they invested in the club and/or profits from the investment club would be used to pay Dertina’s personal expenses or to pay for/into other companies started by Dertina.

    Dertina misrepresented to club members, and potential club members, the relationship between the club and a well-known investment strategist and author of several successful books on investments. Some investors may have joined the club based on the misleading information regarding this relationship provided by Dertina.

    During the two years the club was in operation, 22 people were defrauded of $196,000.

    The jury trial lasted just over three days and the case was turned over to the jury at noon today. They deliberated three hours before returning guilty verdicts on all four counts of securities fraud.

    Sentencing has been set for June 4 at 10:00. Dertina could face up to 48 years in prison.

    Pam Russell
    DA Public Information

    April 19, 2012

    Last Updated: 7-1-2013
  • The filing of a criminal charge is merely a formal accusation that an individual has committed a crime(s).
    A defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. See Colo. RPC 3.6.