Perry Santillo, a former registered representative charged by the SEC with four others and three firms of operating a Ponzi scheme, has been sentenced to 210 months in prison and ordered to pay restitution totaling $102,952,582.77.
Convicted earlier of conspiracy to commit mail fraud, mail fraud and conspiracy to launder money, Santillo, of Rochester, New York, bilked at least 1,000 victims out of more than $100 million, according to the related civil case brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission in 2018.
In 2007, Santillo and a partner 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 Corp., a business operated by Ephren Taylor. In July 2007, according to a release by the U.S Attorney’s Office for the Western District of New York, Santillo and his partner were advised by Taylor that their investors’ money had been lost. Santillo and his partner agreed to acquire the assets and debts of City Capital Corp., but the amount of the acquired debt far exceeded the value of the acquired assets. Taylor was later prosecuted and convicted of operating a Ponzi scheme.
Santillo and his partner did not 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. The Ponzi scheme continued until 2018.
Between January 2012 and June 19, 2018, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said Santillo and his partner obtained at least $115.5 million from approximately 1,000 investors, and had returned approximately $44.8 million, but owed them the remaining $70.7 million.
Santillo’s partner, Christopher Parris, was previously convicted and is awaiting sentencing.
Andrew is half-human, half-gamer. He’s also a science fiction author writing for BleeBot.