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November 23, 2010

BOSTON, Mass. - A former resident of Duxbury, was convicted today in federal court of defrauding his former employer of several million dollars.

PETER VALIANDO, 53, pleaded guilty before Chief Judge Mark L. Wolf in United States District Court to a one-count information charging him with wire fraud.

At today’s plea hearing, the prosecutor told the Court that, had the case proceeded to trial, the Government’s evidence would have proven that, beginning in March 2007, VALIANDO, who at the time was acting as the Chief Operating Officer of Paul Gauguin Shipping Limited, set up secret bank accounts which were opened in names nearly identical to Paul Gauguin Shipping Limited. At that time, the company operated the Tahitian cruise ship The Paul Gauguin. After setting up the secret bank accounts, VALIANDO diverted payments from third parties intended for Paul Gauguin Shipping Limited into those secret accounts and took the money for his personal use. From 2007 to 2009, VALIANDO fraudulently diverted wire transfers totaling more than $2.4 million.

Chief Judge Wolf scheduled sentencing for March 9, 2011. VALIANDO faces up 20 years imprisonment, to be followed by three years of supervised release and a $4.8 million fine.

United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz and Richard DesLauriers, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation - Boston Field Division made the announcement today. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Vassili Thomadakis of Ortiz’s Economic Crimes Unit.

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