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Perry Santillo Sentenced in $100 Million Ponzi Scheme

By January 19, 2022January 21st, 2022Ponzi Scheme

Perry Santillo of Rochester, N.Y., was recently sentenced to serve 210 months in prison in conjunction with his role in a $100 million Ponzi scheme.

Santillo was convicted of conspiracy to commit mail fraud, mail fraud, and conspiracy to launder money in a Ponzi scheme that involved more than 1,000 victims, according to a Department of Justice press release.

In addition to the prison sentence, Perry Santillo was also ordered to pay restitution totaling $102,952,582.77.

According to the DOJ news release:

“[B]etween January 2008 and June 2018, Perry Santillo conspired with Christopher Parris and others, to obtain money through an investment fraud commonly known as a Ponzi scheme. In 2007, Santillo and Parris, as equal partners, formed a business known as Lucian Development in Rochester, which raised millions of dollars from investors in Rochester, and elsewhere, by soliciting investments for City Capital Corporation, a business operated by Ephren Taylor. In July 2007, Santillo and C.P. were advised by Ephren Taylor that their investors’ money had been lost. In response, in August 2007, Santillo and Parris agreed to acquire the assets and debts of City Capital Corporation. The acquisition proved financially ruinous, with the amount of the acquired debt far exceeding the value of the acquired assets. Taylor was later prosecuted and convicted of operating a Ponzi scheme.”

“Subsequently, Santillo and Parris chose not to disclose the truth to investors that their money was gone. Instead, they continued to solicit ever-increasing amounts of money from new investors in an unsuccessful attempt to recoup the losses. In order to find potential investors to solicit and defraud, Santillo and Parris purchased the businesses of at least 15 investment advisors or brokers, located in Tennessee, Ohio, Minnesota, Nevada, California (5 businesses), Florida, South Carolina (2 businesses), Texas, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Indiana. Over the years, to keep the Ponzi scheme from being detected, a substantial portion of incoming new investor monies were depleted by making promised interest and other payments to earlier investors. Most of the rest of incoming investor money was used by Santillo and Parris to finance lavish lifestyles, expand the scheme by purchasing investment advisor/brokerage businesses to obtain access to fresh investors, and to pay operating expenses – salaries for a sales force and administrative staff, office rents and related expenses, housing for employees, and interest on loans.”

“Between January 2012 and June 19, 2018, Santillo and Parris obtained at least $115.5 million from approximately 1000 investors. By the time the scheme collapsed in late-2017/early 2018, Santillo and Parris had returned approximately $44.8 million to investors as part of their scheme but continued to owe investors approximately $70.7 million.”

Fishman Haygood’s Investment Fraud Division has experience bringing claims on behalf of investors who were the victims of fraudulent investment schemes.

Please contact us to discuss your possible claim.

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