Santa Ana, California - A former Newport Beach resident has been sentenced to 121 months in federal prison for running a Ponzi scheme through his Orange County-based company that defrauded hundreds of investors out nearly $50 million.
Joseph J. Lampariello, 62, who recently relocated to Huntington Station, New York, was sentenced Monday afternoon by United States District Judge David O. Carter.
In addition to the prison term of just over 10 years, Judge Carter ordered Lampariello to pay $39,961,859 in restitution.
Lampariello previously pleaded guilty to one felony count of wire fraud and one misdemeanor count of willfully failing to file a tax return.
Lampariello was the president and chief operating officer of Medical Capital Holdings, Inc., a medical receivables financing company that operated out of offices in Anaheim and Tustin. Medical Capital administered several entities that raised money from investors who were told their money would be used to purchase account receivables from accredited medical providers, make secured loans and provide money for general operating expenses.
Over 11 months in 2008 and 2009, Lampariello misappropriated funds invested with one of the entities and used the money to make Ponzi payments to prior investors and to pay himself administrative fees. Lampariello, through Medical Capital, defrauded over 700 investors of nearly $49 million.
“Mr. Lampariello’s sentence properly reflects the significant harm he caused to hundreds of victims,” said United States Attorney Eileen M. Decker. “This defendant’s false promises were designed only to provide wealth for himself, and he must now pay for that greed.”
“The massive monetary figures can’t begin to explain the devastation to victims in this case, some of whom were forced out of retirement, some who lost their marriage and many more who lost trust and live with despair as a result,” said Deirdre L. Fike, the Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office. “Investors must do extensive research before handing over their hard-earned savings, and must never fall for phony online profiles as a way of determining a reputable investment business.”
“When you knowingly mix deceit and trickery into the financial well-being of individuals, you create a recipe for devastation that could last a lifetime,” stated IRS Criminal Investigation’s Acting Special Agent in Charge Anthony J. Orlando. “Today’s sentencing demonstrates how federal law enforcement will band together to help put an end to the criminal behavior of those who prey on investors for their own personal financial gain.”
This case was the result of a joint investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and IRS Criminal Investigation. The prosecution was handled by Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer L. Waier.