Former FA Faces Additional Charges in Alleged $1 Million Fraud Scheme
A federal grand jury in New Haven, Conn., has filed additional charges against a former financial advisor charged last year with running a million-dollar senior fraud scheme, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Connecticut.
Last May, Leon Vaccarelli was charged with money laundering and fraud targeting elderly clients in a scheme he ran from 2012 to 2017 which cost nine clients more than $1 million.
Those charges included three counts of mail fraud, six counts of wire fraud and three counts of money laundering, the U.S. Attorney’s Office says in a press release.
This week, the grand jury in New Haven filed a 21-count indictment against Vaccarelli, which includes an additional three counts of wire fraud and six counts of securities fraud, according to the press release.
Vaccarelli offered investment advice and sold securities to clients as a registered representative of the brokerage firm The Investment Center, an investment advisor affiliated with IC Advisory Service, as well as the owner of LWLVACC, LLC and operator of Lux Financial Services, the U.S. Attorney’s Office says.
The former advisor allegedly told clients he would invest money into individual retirement account rollovers, money market accounts, certificates of deposit or other interest-earning products but instead deposited them into his own personal and business accounts, according to the press release.
He then used the funds to cover his own expenses, including mortgage payments and tuition, and to make what he said were interest payments to some investors, the U.S. Attorney’s Office says. Vaccarelli could face decades in prison, as each count of wire fraud and securities fraud carries a maximum term of 20 years while each count of money laundering carries a maximum term of 10 years, according to the press release.
The Investment Center discharged Vaccarelli in July 2017 over allegations that he, “through his attorney, failed to comply with company policy regarding access to his office and computer during an examination,” according to his BrokerCheck profile.
He never registered with another firm, according to Finra and the SEC.