BOSTON (MyFoxBoston.com) – The Suffolk County Grand Jury on Wednesday returned new indictments charging a West Roxbury man, his wife, their son, and the corporate entity of which they were the sole employees with larceny for allegedly pilfering upward of $10 million from dozens of victims, including seven over the age of 60, Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said.
The latest indictments charge Steven and Lori Palladino, Viking Financial Group and Gregory Palladino with one count each of larceny over $250 and larceny over $250 from a person over 60. They also charge Steven, Lori, and Gregory Palladino with conspiracy to commit larceny, charge Gregory Palladino with three counts of usury and one count of tampering with evidence, and move an additional recent usury case against Steven Palladino from District Court to Suffolk Superior Court. The defendants are expected to be arraigned on the new charges on Sept. 30 in the Magistrate's Session of Suffolk Superior Court.
The new larceny indictments supersede prior indictments against Steven Palladino, Lori Palladino, and Viking, consolidating and streamlining the prosecution of those offenses, which had previously alleged a lesser amount of theft from fewer victims. They also charge Gregory Palladino, who had previously not been charged in the far-reaching fraud investigation.
Prosecutors allege the Palladinos used the Viking Financial Group to obtain more than $10 million in investments from some 42 individuals, families, and groups.
Prosecutors say the defendants told investors their funds would be used to make secured loans to borrowers at a higher interest rate than Viking would pay its investors. Viking would keep the difference, the Palladinos allegedly said, allowing it to make money while providing a high yield, low-risk investment to the investors. Very little of the money was used to make loans, however, and prosecutors say it instead funded a lavish lifestyle for the Palladinos. Money borrowed from new investors was then used to repay earlier investors and to make monthly interest payments to all of the investors, prosecutors said.
Transactions show that investors' money was often transferred from Viking's account into personal accounts held by the Palladinos and used to cover personal expenses including luxury vehicles, a vacation in the Bahamas, rent for Steven Palladino's mistress, and hundreds of thousands of dollars paid to casinos to cover apparent gambling losses,
West Roxbury man lived lavishly off of Ponzi scheme, police say