Accountant admits to scheme that defrauded clients of $1.5M

Photo Courtesy: MGNonline

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – A Connecticut-based accountant and business owner has admitted to operating an investment scheme that defrauded his clients of nearly $1.5 million.

U.S. Attorney Deirdre Daly says Joseph Castellano, of Wallingford, pleaded guilty Friday in federal court in Hartford to one count of mail fraud and one count of money laundering.

The 59-year-old Castellano is a certified public accountant who prepared federal and state tax returns for individuals and local businesses.

Beginning in July 2007, Castellano falsely told investors he would place their money with clients in need of capital to fund businesses. Castellano then diverted the funds for his own use.

Castellano defrauded his victims of approximately $1.45 million through this scheme.

Castellano is scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 22. He faces maximum sentence of 30 years in prison.

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