West Roxbury family admits to $10 million Ponzi scheme

PHILIPPINES-ECONOMY-FOREX
A West Roxbury family has pleaded guilty to orchestrating a multimillion-dollar Ponzi scheme.
Credit: AFP

A West Roxbury family on Tuesday admitted guilt in a $10 million Ponzi scheme that funded a lavish lifestyle of gambling, adultery and luxury.

Steven Palladino, 57, his wife Lori Palladino, 53, and the couple’s son Gregory Palladino, 28, pleaded guilty in Suffolk Superior Court to orchestrating the elaborate scheme, which began in 2007 when the family began operating the Viking Financial Group.

“Well over $10 million dollars were lost to this scam, but how do you put a price tag on your parents’ retirement account or your children’s college fund? The true cost is incalculable,” District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said of the crimes.

“This massive loss is bad enough, but it’s made even worse by what the investments were spent on: gambling debts, luxury vacations, top-of-the line cars, five-star restaurants and Steven Palladino’s mistresses. There was no legitimate business; it was an out-and-out scam perpetrated by Steven Palladino and abetted by his wife and son.”

Steven, who Judge Janet Sanders referred to as the “primary beneficiary” of the crimes, was sentenced to 10 years in prison, while his wife received a suspended 2-year sentence. Gregory will serve two years. All three were ordered to pay restitution.

Investigators claim investors were conned into believing their money would be used to make high-interest loans, but instead, the Palladinos transferred the funds into their personal accounts.

Prosecutors alleged that fake loans were entered into Viking’s corporate books in order to make them appear balanced and the company appear profitable. Of the few real loans Viking extended, several charged interest rates well beyond the 20 percent maximum allowed under state law.

The defendants are accused of concealing the theft of funds by using new investments to make regular interest payments to investors, and in some cases repay the principal.

Investigators say the funds were used to pay for luxury vehicles, a vacation to the Bahamas, rent for Steven Palladino’s mistress, and casino trips resulting in hundreds of thousands of dollars in losses.

Steven Palladino’s dealings with one casino chain were so extensive that the casino flew him, Gregory and others to Atlantic City on a private jet, according to Conley.

Follow Morgan Rousseau on Twitter: @MetroMorgan
Follow Metro Boston on Twitter: @MetroBOS



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

At 91, Marvel creator Stan Lee continues to…

By Piya Sinha-RoyLOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Marvel Entertainment's chief emeritus Stan Lee may be in his ninth decade, but it hasn't stopped him from adding…

National

Islamic State says beheads U.S. journalist, holds another

Islamic State insurgents released a video purportedly showing the beheading of U.S. journalist James Foley, who had gone missing in Syria nearly two years ago.

Local

VIDEO: NYPD seeks shooter in East New York…

Cops are on the lookout for an unknown shooter who aimed and missed hitting a man on a bicycle, instead nearly striking a nearby officer in East New York.

Local

NYS state forces thrift shops comply with ban…

Nine New York City thrift shops were reprimanded by the state attorney general for selling children's clothes with drawstrings around the neck and waist.

Television

'Pretty Little Liars' recap: Season 5, Episode 11,…

Caleb's not a ghost. Spencer might still be an attempted murderer. And Hanna's going to die next week. In other words, we actually got some…

Movies

At 91, Marvel creator Stan Lee continues to…

Marvel Entertainment's Stan Lee is adding outposts to his creative empire to interest a new generation of children in super heroes of all shapes and sizes.

Television

Mira Sorvino explores immortality on 'Intruders'

Mira Sorvino's new show "Intruders" centers around a secret society that achieves immortality by taking over the bodies of other people.

Television

5 things you need to know about new…

"Doctor Who" returns Saturday with a new star, Peter Capaldi. Here's some things to know about him (mainly his turn as sweary spin doctor Malcolm Tucker).

MLB

Shane Greene travels unlikely road to Yankees stardom

Shane Greene was throwing a bullpen session on a quiet field at Daytona Beach Community College one day when the ball started moving.

NFL

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL tight ends (TE)

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: Angels supplant A's, Nationals climb

MLB Power Rankings: Angels supplant A's, Nationals climb

NFL

David Wilson returns to triple jump, sets sights…

Giants fans know David Wilson can jump. They are just more used to seeing him go for backflips, not distance.

Style

11 timeless gifts for registries or just because

Gifts to prove you're a style maven once and for all.

Parenting

How everyday moments can inspire kids' creativity

"The Artist's Way for Parents" author Julia Cameron gives advice on how parents and children can be creative together.

Tech

How to stay safe online

Stop worrying about keeping your online passwords safe, and start worrying about keeping your username a secret. Actually, worry about both. According to Shaun Murphy…

Tech

OpenTable now lets you pay your bill via…

The restaurant app OpenTable added the ability to pay your bill (and tip) with your phone, thus cutting back on a few dining annoyances.