News and Press Releases

Leesburg Attorney Sentenced to 24 Months for Defrauding Life Insurance Company

February 24, 2012

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Christopher Agresto, 37, of Leesburg, Va., was sentenced today to 24 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for carrying out a scheme to fraudulently obtain life insurance proceeds. 

            Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; James W. McJunkin, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office; and Michael L. Chapman, Loudoun County Sheriff, made the announcement after sentencing by United States District Liam O’Grady.  Agresto pled guilty on Nov. 4, 2011.

According to court records, in 2009, Susan Cilenti was found dead under suspicious circumstances in the Leesburg home she shared with her husband, James Cilenti. The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office opened a death investigation and James Cilenti was named a “person of interest.”  As a result, USAA, which had issued a $500,000 life insurance policy on the life of the late Mrs. Cilenti, declined to pay Cilenti, who was the primary beneficiary of Mrs. Cilenti’s life insurance policy. Cilenti obtained the services of Christopher Agresto, a Leesburg attorney, and together they devised a scheme to induce USAA, through materially false representations, to pay the insurance proceeds to a trust they created.  The trust was ostensibly for the benefit of Cilenti’s adopted daughter, who was the contingent beneficiary under the policy.  Based on Agresto’s false representations, which included that the funds would be spent only on the adopted daughter’s behalf, USAA wired $507,000 to the trust account.  Agresto wrote more than $450,000 in checks and wire transfers to Cilenti, which Cilenti used for his own benefit, not his adopted daughter's. 

Cilenti was sentenced on Feb. 10, 2012, to 64 months in prison.

This investigation was conducted by the FBI’s Washington Field Office, Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office, the Social Security Administration Office of the Inspector General, and the Commonwealth Attorney’s Office.  Assistant United States Attorneys Uzo Asonye and Michael Rich prosecuted the case on behalf of the United States.  

            A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia at Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia at or on


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