February 24, 2024

A once-prominent Buffalo businessman who was the main defendant in a multimillion-dollar securities fraud case, accused of cheating nearly 100 investors, has died.

The death of Darin R. Pastor leaves his alleged victims wondering if they will ever recover a penny of the millions they say he stole from them.

Pastor, 52, who tried a decade ago to purchase a National Hockey League franchise, “died suddenly” in his New Jersey home on March 25, prosecutors recently disclosed in a document filed in Buffalo’s federal court.

Pastor was indicted on five felony charges, including securities fraud, money laundering and wire fraud, in July 2022. The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Buffalo accused him and an associate – Halford W. Johnson, 60, of Brockport – of using a variety of audacious schemes to scam 95 investors, including many victims from the Buffalo area.

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Days after a federal prosecutor reported Pastor’s death in a court document filed on Oct. 30, Johnson pleaded guilty to one felony conspiracy charge.

“In light of Darin Pastor’s death and the plea taken by Mr. Johnson, we’re looking at all our legal options,” said attorney Joseph Makowski, who represents…

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