States Attorney's Office District of Connecticut
|May 4, 2010||
WATERBURY BUSINESS OWNER WHO DEFRAUDED CLIENTS OF $2.1 MILLION SENTENCED TO FIVE YEARS IN FEDERAL PRISON
Nora R. Dannehy, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that THOMAS CIPRIANO, 54, of Waterbury, was sentenced today by Senior United States District Judge Peter C. Dorsey in New Haven to 60 months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, for defrauding more than two dozen individuals of approximately $2.1 million dollars. On October 30, 2009, CIPRIANO pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud and one count of money laundering.
According to court documents and statements made in court, CIPRIANO, while acting as principal of the Cipriano Agency, an insurance and financial services agency, and Selective Benefits Group, a financial services agency, both of which conducted business from 751 Watertown Avenue in Waterbury, convinced several clients to remove their money from conventional investments and from their personal bank accounts and to give him the money to “invest” by promising that they would be repaid with interest on their investment. However, CIPRIANO did not invest his clients’ funds in any sort of legitimate investment. Instead, he laundered those funds through his personal bank accounts and lost most of the money gambling at Connecticut casinos. He spent the rest of his clients’ money to pay for his own personal expenses or to make “lulling” payments to other clients.
In total, CIPRIANO received approximately $3.2 million from more than two dozen clients. Of that total, CIPRIANO has reimbursed his victims in the approximate amount of $1.1 million. Victims also have received an additional $794,151.62 from financial institutions or insurance companies. CIPRIANO will be ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $1,309,778.04 to his victims, and $794,151.62 to the financial institutions and insurance companies that have reimbursed his victims.
This matter was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Susan Wines.
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