A federal jury has found Leon Vaccarelli guilty of 21 counts of fraud and money laundering. Vaccarelli, a former registered The Investment Center broker, an ex-IC Advisory Services-associated investment adviser, and the owner of LWLVACC who conducted business through Lux Financial Services, is accused of defrauding investors, including elderly clients, of $1.5M.
Vaccarelli gave investment advice and sold securities and investments to families in Connecticut. According to Justice.gov, from about 2011 and 2017, the ex-former investment adviser and broker defrauded about 15 victims. He falsely represented that their money would be invested in IRA rollover accounts, certificates of deposit, money market accounts, and other investments that would earn interest.
Instead, Vaccarelli put investors’ money into his own business and personal accounts, commingling their funds with his, and used the money to help cover his own mortgage and other personal expenses, as well as certain business costs. Some customers’ monies were used to pay “interest” to other investors whom he was also defrauding.
The DOJ said some of his victims were medical professionals, and retirees, including a former school teacher and an ex-construction worker. One of Vaccarelli’s victims was an elderly investor. He persuaded her to move about $300K from an investment portfolio to an account that he controlled. He then defrauded her, including using her money to pay a different investor who was threatening a lawsuit. Another victim was a woman with “diminished capacity” who had a trust. Vaccarelli bilked her of almost $500K.
Now, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is also filing civil charges against the ex-broker and investment adviser in a parallel civil case. This comes nearly two years after the regulator secured a temporary restraining order against Vaccarelli and LWLVACC to stop the fraud and obtain an asset freeze.
Vaccarelli’s BrokerCheck record notes that he worked 17 years in the securities industry. During that time, he also had been a registered broker with QA3 Financial Corp., Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. and IDS Life Insurance Company. He has been the subject of numerous customer disputes in which various allegations were made, including those involving the following:
- REIT losses
- Conversion and theft
- Annuity mismanagement
The Investment Center fired Vaccarelli in 2017.
In 2015, he settled a civil case brought by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) accusing him of exercising discretion in a customer’s accounts even though he did not have their permission to make such trades. Vaccarelli settled the self-regulatory authority’s case without denying or admitting to the findings, served a one-month suspension, and paid a $7,500 penalty.
Investor Fraud Lawyers
If you were the victim of Leon Vaccarelli or other investor fraud, it is important that you file your own individual claim and are represented by an experienced broker fraud lawyer. Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas (SSEK Law Firm) works with older investors, retirees, families, retail investors, high net worth retail investors, small businesses, institutions, and other clients in helping them to recover their losses. If you were defrauded by Leon Vaccarelli or another broker, SSEK Law Firm would be happy to provide you with a free, no obligation case consultation.
Please contact Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas, LLP (SSEK Law Firm) so that we can explore your legal options with you. Our senior investor fraud lawyers and our retail investment fraud attorneys represent clients throughout the US.