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Waterbury man guilty of fraud and money laundering charges related to $1.5 million fraud scheme

NEW HAVEN — A Waterbury man has been found guilty of fraud and money laundering charges related to a $1.5 million fraud scheme.

Officials said Leon C. Vaccarelli, 42, of Waterbury, was found guilty of numerous fraud and money laundering offenses stemming from an investment scheme that defrauded individuals of approximately $1.5 million.  The jury returned guilty verdicts on all counts of a 21-count superseding indictment Wednesday morning.

Officials said Vaccarelli was a registered representative of The Investment Center, a brokerage company, and was an investment adviser associated with IC Advisory Services, Inc. .  He also was the owner and only member of LWLVACC, LLC, and conducted business through an entity named Lux Financial Services.  Using these various entities, Vaccarelli operated in the Waterbury area.

Authorities said between approximately 2011 and 2017, Vaccarelli defrauded approximately 15 victim investors of approximately $1.5 million by falsely representing that he would invest his clients’ money in IRA rollover accounts, money market accounts, certificates of deposit , or other types of interest-earning investments.  “However, instead of investing customers’ funds as he had represented, Vaccarelli deposited customer funds into his own personal account and business bank accounts, commingled those funds with his own money, and used the funds to pay both business and personal expenses, including tuition and mortgage payments.  In some instances, he also used customer funds to make bogus “interest payments” to other victim-investors.”

Officials said, “Vaccarelli’s victims include an elderly woman who Vaccarelli coerced into transferring approximately $300,000 in funds from a safe investment portfolio into a bank account that Vaccarelli controlled.  Vaccarelli subsequently spent the money on personal expenses and to pay off another investor who threatened to sue him.  Vaccarelli also stole nearly $500,000 from a trust, which was established in 1991 to care for a woman with diminished capacity.  Other victims include a retired schoolteacher, a retired construction worker, and medical professionals.”

Mail fraud, wire fraud and securities fraud carry a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years on each count.  Money laundering carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years on each count.

Sentencing is scheduled for August 22, 2019.  Vaccarelli is released on a $100,000 bond pending sentencing.

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