Ponzi schemer gets over 17 years, ordered to repay $103M

Jan 13, 2022, 3:20 PM | Updated: 4:10 pm
FILE - Perry Santillo walks outside the federal courthouse in Scranton, Pa., after pleading guilty ...

FILE - Perry Santillo walks outside the federal courthouse in Scranton, Pa., after pleading guilty to a federal fraud charge on Nov. 4, 2019. Santillo, once dubbed “King Perry”, was sentenced on Thursday, Jan. 13, 2022, to more than 17 years in prison for his role in masterminding a long-running investment scam that collected more than $115 million from 1,000 investors nationwide. (AP Photo/Michael Rubinkam. File)

(AP Photo/Michael Rubinkam. File)

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) — A man once dubbed “King Perry” was sentenced Thursday to more than 17 years in prison for his role in masterminding a long-running investment scam that collected more than $115 million from 1,000 investors nationwide.

Perry Santillo appeared in federal court in Rochester, New York, more than two years after pleading guilty to mail fraud and conspiracy. A federal judge also ordered him to pay $103 million in restitution.

Santillo and his alleged conspirators in the Ponzi scheme coaxed clients to cash in their retirement accounts and invest in sham companies under their control, using the money from newer investors to repay earlier investors, according to court documents.

To ensure a fresh supply of victims, Santillo and his confederates bought the businesses — and client lists — of a series of investment advisers and brokerages, prosecutors said. Over the years, they acquired investment firms in Tennessee, Ohio, Minnesota, Nevada, California, Florida, South Carolina, Texas, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Indiana, according to court documents.

Federal securities regulators have said Santillo used some of the proceeds to fund a lavish lifestyle of cars, casino junkets and houses in multiple states. Lyrics to a song written for Santillo boasted that “King Perry” wears a “$10,000 suit everywhere he rides.”

Several of Santillo’s victims testified at his sentencing Thursday. Some had lost hundreds of thousands of dollars in retirement savings.

In a letter to the court, Santillo expressed regret and said he is “haunted by the devastation I have caused to so many. … I am truly ashamed of my choices.”

Several other figures in the scheme have pleaded guilty, including another ringleader, Christopher Parris, who faces sentencing next month.

Santillo has also pleaded guilty to a related federal fraud charge in Pennsylvania. He has yet to be sentenced in that case.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

FILE - Albert Bourla, chief executive officer of Pfizer, speaks at a Press Conference on Pfizer and...
Associated Press

Pfizer CEO tests positive for COVID-19, has mild symptoms

The top executive at Pfizer, a leading producer of COVID-19 vaccines, has tested positive for the virus and says he is experiencing very mild symptoms. Chairman and CEO Albert Bourla said Monday that he started taking Pfizer’s Paxlovid pill treatment and is isolating while he recovers. Bourla has received four shots of Comirnaty, the COVID-19 […]
10 hours ago
FILE - Alabama quarterback Bryce Young (9) during warm ups before the start of an NCAA college foot...
Associated Press

No. 1 Alabama tops preseason AP Top 25; Ohio St, ‘Dawgs next

With two of the best players in the country leading the way — and a championship game loss as motivation — Alabama is No. 1 in The Associated Press preseason college football poll for the second straight season and ninth time overall. Heisman Trophy winner Bryce Young, national defensive player of year Will Anderson Jr. […]
10 hours ago
Associated Press

Fire damages Mississippi church where Faulkner was married

OXFORD, Miss. (AP) — The Mississippi church where William Faulkner was married nearly a century ago has been heavily damaged in a fire. College Hill Presbyterian Church, northwest of Oxford, caught fire Saturday night and burned more than three hours, the Oxford Eagle reported. The congregation was founded in 1835, and the church was built […]
10 hours ago
Associated Press

Michael Cox sworn in as Boston police commissioner

BOSTON (AP) — Michael Cox, a Boston police veteran who was brutally beaten by fellow officers while chasing a suspect and fought against efforts to cover up his assault, was sworn in Monday as commissioner of the police department. After taking the oath during a ceremony at City Hall Plaza, Cox thanked his family and […]
10 hours ago
FILE - French Barkhane force soldiers who wrapped up a four-month tour of duty in the Sahel leave t...
Associated Press

French military: Last group of soldiers has left Mali

NICE, France (AP) — The last French army unit left Mali on Monday, according to a statement from the French military, nine years after Paris sent troops to the West African country to help drive Islamic extremists from power. France’s armed forces completed their withdrawal from Mali six months after French President Emmanuel Macron announced […]
10 hours ago
The Independent and Electoral Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Chairman, Wafula Chebukati, left, presen...
Associated Press

Kenya’s Ruto declared president after last-minute chaos

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — After last-minute chaos that could foreshadow a court challenge, Kenya’s electoral commission chairman on Monday declared Deputy President William Ruto the winner of the close presidential election over five-time contender Raila Odinga, a triumph for the man who shook up politics by appealing to struggling Kenyans on economic terms and not […]
10 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Ways to prevent clogged drains and what to do if you’re too late

While there are a variety of ways to prevent clogged drains, it's equally as important to know what to do when you're already too late.
...
Dr. Richard Carmona

Great news: Children under 5 can now get COVID-19 vaccine

After more than two years of battle with an invisible killer, we can now vaccinate the youngest among us against COVID-19. This is great news.
(Courtesy Condor)...
Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines shows passion for destinations from Sky Harbor with new-look aircraft

Condor Airlines brings passion to each flight and connects people to their dream destinations throughout the world.
Ponzi schemer gets over 17 years, ordered to repay $103M