Ponzi Schemer Charged with Criminal Contempt for Lavish Spending and Other Violations of Court Orders
|U.S. Attorney’s Office April 16, 2014|
BOSTON—A West Roxbury man was charged on April 10, 2014, with criminal contempt for violating an asset freeze and other court orders entered in a civil case brought by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.
Steven Palladino, 57, was charged in an information with 25 counts of criminal contempt.
The information alleges that from May 2013 through November 2013, Palladino willfully violated court orders in the United States Securities and Exchange Commission’s civil case when he incurred thousands of dollars in credit card charges and cash advances—including charges at high-end restaurants—and did not deposit the proceeds of cash advances into an escrow account established by the Court. In addition, Palladino is alleged to have violated the same court orders in June 2013 when he sold a truck he owned and did not deposit the proceeds into the escrow account established by the court. The information also alleges that Palladino violated another court order that commanded Palladino to undo his transfers of luxury vehicles to his wife and the subsequent encumbrance of those luxury vehicles with approximately $137,000 in new loans by November 22, 2013.
United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz and Vincent B. Lisi, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division, made the announcement today. United States Attorney Ortiz also expressed appreciation for the significant assistance of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. The case is being prosecuted by Ryan M. DiSantis of Ortiz’s Economic Crimes Unit.
The details contained in the information are allegations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
Today’s announcement is part of the ongoing efforts of President Obama’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force’s Securities and Commodities Fraud Working Group. The interagency FFETF was created to wage an aggressive, coordinated, and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. The task force, chaired by Attorney General Eric Holder, includes representatives from a broad range of federal agencies, regulatory authorities, inspectors general, and state and local law enforcement who, working together, bring to bear a powerful array of criminal and civil enforcement resources. The task force is working to improve efforts across the federal executive branch and, with state and local partners, to investigate and prosecute significant financial crimes, ensure just and effective punishment for those who perpetrate financial crimes, combat discrimination in the lending and financial markets, and recover proceeds for victims of financial crimes. For more information about the FFETF, please visit www.stopfraud.gov.