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WINTHROP MAN CHARGED WITH $4 MILLION FRAUD SCHEME INVOLVING “LIFE SETTLEMENTS”

Thursday, February 17, 2011

BOSTON, Mass. - A Massachusetts man, also living in Florida, was charged today in federal court with mail and wire fraud in connection with a six-year scheme involving purported investments in “life settlements,” in which it is alleged that he defrauded about 20 victims of approximately $4 million.

JOSEPH GENNACO, 67, of Winthrop, and Jupiter, Fla., was indicted on five counts of wire fraud and 13 counts of mail fraud. The indictment alleges that from 2002-2008, GENNACO engaged in a scheme to defraud investors by misrepresenting to people how those funds would be used, invested and repaid. He instead diverted the funds for his own personal and business purposes.

According to the indictment, GENNACO operated in the name of several entities, including Gennaco & Associates, Oceanview Financial Services, GCT Trust, and Crescent Management Group. GENNACO’s alleged scheme centered on misrepresentations to investors that their funds would be invested in one or more life insurance policies - or “life settlements” - and that the investments would be repaid with a guaranteed profit from the proceeds of the sale of those policies. Instead, according to the charges, GENNACO diverted investors’ funds to his own uses, allowed insurance policies to lapse by failing to pay the premiums, and failed to repay investors when he sold the policies. The charges allege that GENNACO obtained approximately $4 million from about 20 victims.

If convicted on these charges, GENNACO faces up to 20 years imprisonment, to be followed by three years of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine.

United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz, Robert Bethel, Inspector in Charge, U.S. Postal Inspection Service and Richard DesLauriers, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division announced the charges today. The case was investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the FBI. Assistance was also provided by the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office and the Massachusetts Securities Division. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark J. Balthazard of Ortiz's Economic Crimes Unit.

The details contained in the indictment are allegations. The defendant is presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

 

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