View from the choir

I am a Catholic layperson and Secular Franciscan with a sense of humor. After years in the back pew watching, I have moved into the choir. It's nice to see faces instead of the backs of heads. But I still maintain God has a sense of humor - and that we are created in God's image.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Man Guilty in Catholic Ponzi Scheme

Richard Piccoli has pleaded guilty to conducting a Ponzi scheme that targeted Catholics and has resulted in millions in losses.

The 82-year-old from Amherst - over Buffalo way - plead guilty to using ads in Catholic newspapers (including Rochester's Catholic Courier) and his membership in the Knights of Columbus to get people - including priests and women religious - to invest millions in his Gen-See Capital Corporation.

He promised them large returns for their investments. Now some people have lost most or all of the money they invested -including in some cases all their retirement money.

A Ponzi scheme is one in which early investors do receive return on their investments - but the money comes from later investors, who often end up with nothing. In this case, the estimated losses to hundreds of people are in the $20-25 million range.

He faces up to 25 years in jail.

I was always taught if it sounds to good to be true, it probably is.

In this case, it was.


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