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

A  man once dubbed “King Perry” will spend more than 17 years in prison for his role in masterminding a long-running Ponzi scheme that collected more than $115 million from 1,000 investors nationwide

Via AP news wire
Thursday 13 January 2022 22:20
Ponzi Scheme King Perry
Ponzi Scheme King Perry

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.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in