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Bond reduced for alleged stock swindler

by Greg Avery
Daily Times-Call

BOULDER -- Boulder County District Court Judge Frank Dubofsky halved the bond set for accused stock swindler Brian Cork on Monday, but refused to lower it further despite pleas from Cork's attorney.

One of two men named in Boulder County's first grand jury indictment in years, Cork is suspected of bilking investors from across the country out of $2.28 million in 1996 and 1997. Cork, and partners Michael Davis and Jeffrey Van Putten, allegedly ran a series of scams out of their Louisville-based Lionheart Financial during that time.

Van Putten pleaded guilty to one count of securities fraud last month. Like Cork, Davis faces eight felony counts, including violating the state Organized Crime and Control Act.

Atlanta police arrested Cork on March 5 and, in his first court appearance since being extradited to Boulder County, his attorneys -- from the same law firm representing John Ramsey -- asked his $200,000 bond be reduced to $25,000 because Cork's family could not afford any higher.

``It's my desire to resolve this issue,'' said Cork, who moved from Boulder County to Atlanta in 1998. ``I consider myself a responsible person and I don't plan to run from anything.''

Dubofsky declined to reduce the bond any lower than the $100,000 set for Davis, a Broomfield resident, but granted permission for Cork to return to Atlanta if he posted bond.

Prosecutor Jim Lewis, senior assistant state attorney general, told Dubofsky that he considered Cork a serious threat for fleeing prosecution because he no longer has ties to Boulder County and is suspected of making $400,000 from the stock swindle that investigators have not been able to locate.

``This defendant is shrewd, sophisticated and he may have the financial resources to elude law enforcement,'' Lewis said. He also said that Cork -- who was barred from trading in securities and being involved in financial professions in Colorado by a state injunction last year -- may be inclined to get involved in another financial scheme if he is not kept in jail.

Cork's attorney Hal Haddon argued his client has no criminal record and has enough family and professional ties in Atlanta to keep him in the country.

Cork was required to surrender his passport and sign a waiver giving up his rights to fight extradition back to Boulder.

He is scheduled to enter a plea April 2.