Waterbury Investment Advisor Charged with Additional Counts Related to $1 Million Fraud Scheme
John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that a federal grand jury in New Haven returned a 21-count indictment today charging LEON C. VACCARELLI, 42, of Waterbury, with fraud and money laundering offenses stemming from an investment scheme that defrauded individuals of more than $1 million.
On May 2, 2018, a grand jury returned a 12-count indictment charging Vaccarelli with three counts of mail fraud, six counts of wire fraud and three counts of money laundering. The superseding indictment adds an additional three counts of wire fraud and six counts of securities fraud.
As alleged in the superseding indictment, Vaccarelli was a registered representative of The Investment Center (“TIC”), a brokerage company, and was an investment adviser associated with IC Advisory Services, Inc. (“IC Advisory”). He also was the owner and only member of LWLVACC, LLC, and conducted business through an entity named Lux Financial Services (“Lux Financial”). Using these various entities, Vaccarelli operated a financial advisory and brokerage service through which he offered investment advice and sold investments and securities to individuals and families in the Waterbury area.
Between approximately 2011 and 2017, it is alleged that Vaccarelli defrauded victim investors of more than $1 million by falsely representing that he would invest his clients’ money in IRA rollover accounts, money market accounts, certificates of deposit (“CDs”), or other types of interest-earning investments. However, instead of investing customers’ funds as he had represented, Vaccarelli deposited customer funds into his own personal account and business bank accounts, commingled those funds with his own money, and used the funds to pay both business and personal expenses, including tuition and mortgage payments. In some instances, he also used customer funds to make bogus “interest payments” to other victim-investors.
Mail fraud, wire fraud and securities fraud carry a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years on each count. Money laundering carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years on each count.
Vaccarelli is released on a $100,000 bond pending trial.
U.S. Attorney Durham stressed that an indictment is not evidence of guilt. Charges are only allegations, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
This matter is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and U.S. Postal Inspection Service. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael S. McGarry and Jennifer R. Laraia.