BOSTON – A North Attleboro man was sentenced yesterday on fraud and tax evasion charges arising from his operation of a financial planning service called The Center for Senior Financial Planning.
John A. Picini, 54, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Joseph L. Tauro to 121 months in prison, three years of supervised release, $3.5 million in restitution to his investment clients, and $490,000 in unpaid taxes to the IRS.
Picini targeted senior citizen investors as his clients and persuaded them to cash out annuities for the supposed purpose of investing with Picini. Picini failed to roll these sums over into annuities, as promised, and instead spent a total of $3.5 million of 70 victims’ retirement savings. Picini lulled his victims into believing that their funds were safely invested by producing bogus account statements and also by making periodic payments to his victims with sums that supposedly represented investment earnings, but which were actually sums stolen from other victims.
United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; Kevin Niland, Inspector in Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service; and John G. Collins, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation in Boston, made the announcement today. The investigation was assisted by the Massachusetts Securities Division and the case was prosecuted by Lori J. Holik of Ortiz’s Economic Crimes Unit.