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Local $102M Ponzi scheme victims being interviewed by FBI this week

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This week the Federal Bureau of Investigation is meeting with Rochester victims of an alleged nationwide Ponzi scheme.

According to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, 637 people were defrauded of $102 million.

The SEC is now launching an investigation into Perry Santillo, 38, of Rochester, Chris Parris, 38, of Rochester, Paul Larocco, 55, of Florida, John Piccarreto, 34, of Texas, Thomas Brenner, 55, of Ohio, along with First Nationle Solution, LLC (“first nationle”), Percipience Global Corporation (“percipience”), and United RL Capital Services.

The SEC claims Santillo and Parris took over books of business of retirees and then convinced them to channel their investments with their companies.

The regulatory agency says those investments were then misappropriated, funding “a jet-setting lifestyle” for defendants.

“You think you know someone and you trust them but I guess you can’t,” said Jane Naylon, a Rochester victim who invested $125,000 with Parris.

“I have nothing but social security. I have to think about getting a job,” said Jaleen Dambrosio, another victim of Parris who invested roughly $600,000.

Both women knew Parris and were referred to him by friends. The local connection created the initial trust.

“I took music lessons from his father. I grew up in the 19th Ward; he grew up in the 19th Ward,” said Naylon.

Whatever money wasn’t misappropriated was “paid to redeeming investors in classic Ponzi scheme fashion,” according to the documents.

“Early investors can be your best advertiser because they say, ‘I gave the guy $100 and the next week I got $200’, but eventually you’re going to run out of resources,” said Criminal Attorney Peter Pullano of Tully Rinckey.

Assets are now being frozen and liquidated with hopes that victims can get something back, if the allegations are proven.

“100-percent recovery is unlikely but you got to wait and see,” explained Pullano.

For now, this is a civil case but the Department of Justice is investigating and the expert attorney is confident criminal charges will follow.

With so many victims he adds it could be years before it’s resolved.

Attorneys for Parris and Santillo declined to comment on the pending litigation.

The SEC also declined to comment on the pending litigation but a source tells News10NBC the regulatory agency will be in Rochester this week to depose defendants.

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