Man sentenced to 8 years for Ponzi scheme

Oct. 5, 2012 at 2:52 PM

HARTFORD, Conn., Oct. 5 (UPI) -- A Connecticut man has been sentenced to eight years in federal prison for a Ponzi scheme that cost his victims $6 million.

Gregory Viola, 60, of Orange, Conn., appeared at a sentencing hearing Thursday, the Hartford Courant reported. He had admitted two counts of mail fraud.

Investigators said Viola, who wasn't registered as an investment adviser, recruited victims through his tax business. He allegedly used the money they gave him to invest to provide bogus profits and to fund his own mortgage payments and country club dues.

"We are both 80 years old," a married couple said in a statement read at the hearing. "We invested our life savings and now it's gone. We are depressed ... very worried about last years of life."

Viola operated the scheme from 2007-11, investigators said.

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