Financial Adviser Convicted In $1.5M Fraud Scheme

May 30, 2019 - 8:38 am

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — A Connecticut financial adviser authorities say stole about $1.5 million from his clients and used some of it to pay his mortgage, tuition and other personal expenses has been found guilty.

Federal prosecutors say 42-year-old Leon Vaccarelli, of Waterbury, was convicted by a jury Wednesday of 21 counts including mail fraud and money laundering.

Authorities say from 2011 until 2017 he took his clients' money and said he would invest it in IRA rollover accounts, money market accounts and certificates of deposit. Instead, he deposited customer funds into his own personal account and business bank accounts. He used some money to pay off earlier investors, including one who threatened to sue him.

His lawyer blamed his actions on alcoholism.

Vaccarelli remains free on $100,000 bond pending sentencing Aug. 22.