December 7, 2023

Rochester, N.Y. – A 41-year-old Upstate New York man swindled more than 1,000 victims out of more than $100 million in a nationwide Ponzi scheme.

Perry Santillo, 41, of Rochester, was convicted of conspiracy to commit mail fraud, mail fraud, and conspiracy to launder money, according to a news release from the United States Attorney’s Office on Friday.

On Friday, Santillo was sentenced to 17 1/2 years in federal prison and was ordered to pay over $100 million in restitution, according to federal prosecutors.

Between January 2008 and June 2018, Sanillo and Christopher Parris, his business partner, profited off of investment fraud, federal prosecutors said.

Between January 2012 and June 19, 2018, Santillo and Parris obtained at least $115.5 million from approximately 1,000 investors, prosecutors said.

Santillo and Parris formed a business named Lucian Development in Rochester, prosecutors said. The company raised millions of dollars from investors in Rochester and nationwide by soliciting investments from City Capital Corporation, they said.

In July 2007, Santillo and his partner were informed by Ephren Taylor, the owner of City Capital Corporation, that their investors’ money was gone, prosecutors said. In August of that year, Santillo and his partner acquired the assets and debts of City Capital Corporation, prosecutors said.

The debts of Taylor’s company were significantly greater than the value of the assets, prosecutors said.

Taylor was later convicted of operating a…

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