(CBS Connecticut) — A federal judge issued a 5 year sentence to a Wallingford man in a $1.4-million dollar Ponzi scheme.

Certified Public Accountant Joseph Castellano appeared in Hartford Federal Court yesterday.

Federal prosecutors say Castellano operated several companies out of  offices in Wallingford, including Casbo Investments, Wallingford Investors Limited Partnership, AIM Realty Investors, and Castellano & Co., LLC.

He prepared tax returns for local residents and businesses.  He allegedly told his victims that he had other clients who needed money to fund business or real estate projects.  He promised his victims between 6 percent and 8 percent returns per year.

But federal authorities say there were no business or real estate projects.

Castellano used the money for international travel, and for some bogus payments to victims, supposedly in the form of interest.

Several people lost most of their retirement savings.  Castellano allegedly swindled $1,477,151 from  eighteen victims.


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