This week the United States Securities and Exchange Commission sought and obtained asset freezes against five investment advisers for allegedly defrauding approximately 637 investors over the course of years in a $102 million Ponzi scheme.
The SEC filed an enforcement action against Perry Santillo of Rochester, New York, Christopher Parris also of Rochester, Paul LaRocco of Ocala, Florida, John Piccarreto of San Antonio, and Thomas Brenner of Orville, Ohio, promissory note issuer First Nationle Solution LLC, lender Percipience Global Corp. and medical financier United RL Capital Services.
The SEC claims these investment advisers solicited investors with claims that their money would be used for businesses the SEC contends had minimal operations, and promised guaranteed dividends and outlandish double-digit returns. Rather, the accused investment advisers spent at least $20 million on themselves and used at least $38.5 million to pay off other investors “in classic Ponzi-scheme fashion,” the SEC said.
The SEC further contends that the investment advisors issued false and bogus account statements to victim investors falsely representing that their funds were invested with bona fide companies, and listing inflated returns.
According to the SEC complaint, Santillo and Parris used local individuals with strong ties to investors to carry out the fraud. LaRocco was their man in Florida, where he and Santillo raised $26 million from at least 147 investors since August 2012, according to the SEC, while Piccarreto was active in Texas, where he and Parris allegedly obtained at least $6.6 million from 38 investors or more stretching back to April 12014. Brenner’s turf was Ohio, and the SEC says he Santillo and Parris took in at least $8 million from at least 74 investors since April 2013.
John Piccarreto, described by the SEC as a “central figure in defrauding investors” was previously registered as an associated person with First American Securities, Inc., a securities brokerage firm, and was terminated from employment by it for participating in private securities transactions involving elderly investors, and for lying to FINRA about his involvement in such transactions.
Thomas Brenner, also painted by the SEC as a critical participant in the alleged fraud, was previously registered with First American Securities, Inc. and later Raymond James Financial Services.
If you invested with Piccarreto or Brenner and lost money in this alleged fraud while they were stock brokers associated with First American Securities, or while Brenner was with Raymond James, you may have a claim against these brokerage firms to recover your lost investment for their failure to supervise Piccarreto or Brenner.
The law firm of David R. Chase has recovered monies for numerous defrauded investors in cases against securities brokerage firms for their employee stock broker’s wrongful and fraudulent conduct.
Stockbroker fraud lawyer David Chase is the principal of the SEC law firm, David R. Chase, PA, based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Stockbroker fraud lawyer David Chase represents defrauded stock market investors nationwide.