On June 19, 2018, the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) shut down a $102 million Ponzi scheme and charged five (5) individuals and three (3) businesses with various securities laws violations.
The massive Ponzi scheme’s alleged orchestrators were all formerly registered with FINRA and employed by FINRA-registered firms, according to the SEC complaint. The following individuals were named in the SEC’s complaint:
- Perry Santillo Jr.;
- Christopher Parris (CRD# 4552325);
- Paul LaRocco (CRD# 1829706);
- John Piccarreto (CRD# 6276418); and
- Thomas Brenner (CRD# 1489233).
According to the SEC complaint, Santillo and Parris purchased or took over the books of business of retiring investment professionals nationwide. Santillo and Parris, or local sales people like Piccarreto, LaRocco, and Brenner, would then persuade these newly-acquired victims to withdraw their savings to invest in entities controlled by the named defendants.
Santillo, Parris and their associates purported that the invested money would go into three (3) entities. The bulk of the $102 million went into the following entities and named defendants in the SEC complaint:
- First Nationle Solution, LLC;
- Percipience Global Corporation; and
- United RL Capital Services.
Santillo, Parris and the other named defendants falsely claimed that the investors’ money would be used to operate businesses in fields such as financial services, insurance, real estate development, and medical laboratories. In reality, any business operation for each of these entities appears to be limited or non-existent, according to the SEC complaint.
As part of the Ponzi scheme, Santillo, Parris, LaRocco, Piccarreto, and Brenner misappropriated an aggregate of almost $20 million for their own use, including Santillo commissioning a song about himself to be played at a lavish party he threw in Las Vegas, Nevada.
This isn’t the first time many of the named defendants have come been in hot water with regulatory authorities. Brenner was barred by FINRA in 2017 for refusing to appear for FINRA requested on-the-record testimony regarding his involvement with securities violations of the first he was CEO of at the time: First American Securities. Piccarretto was also employed by First American Securities and suspended for misconduct related to the brokerage firm. FINRA barred First American Securities in March 2017 for securities misconduct related to the sale of private placements.
LaRocco was barred by FINRA in 2011. The Maryland attorney general ordered Santillo to cease business in the state after accusing him or selling unregistered securities earlier this year. In May 2018, our firm published a blog about Parris and his connection to a Georgia complaint against a local credit union after its agent allegedly invested client funds in United RL Capital Services.
The defendants were operated from various cities and states, including Ocala, Florida; Rochester, New York; Orville, Ohio; and San Antonio, Texas.
Contact Our Firm If You’ve Invested With Perry Santillo Jr., Christopher Parris, Paul LaRocco, John Piccareto and/or Thomas Brenner
If you’ve lost money investing with Perry Santillo Jr., Christopher Parris, Paul LaRocco, John Piccareto and/or Thomas Brenner, we may be able to help you recover your losses. Contact our firm today to learn how we can try to recover your losses. We work on a contingency fee, meaning if we don’t recover money you owe us nothing. Our lawyers have extensive experience in claims against banks, accountants and financial advisors who aid or assist in fraud.
Silver Law Group represents the interests of investors who have been the victims of investment fraud. Scott Silver is the chairman of the Securities and Financial Fraud Group of the American Association of Justice and represents investors nationwide in securities investment fraud cases. Please contact Scott Silver of the Silver Law Group for a free consultation at firstname.lastname@example.org or toll free at (800) 975-4345.