DA: West Roxbury couple behind massive Ponzi scheme

Two West Roxbury residents ran an investment company that used money from new customers to pay off old ones - and to finance gambling forays, vacations in the Bahamas and rent for the husband's mistress, the Suffolk County District Attorney's office charges.

A Suffolk County grand jury last week returned indictments against Steven and Lori Palladino for loan sharking, larceny and making false entries in corporate books. Steven Pallidino is scheduled for arraignment today on those charges, as well as being "a common and notorious thief based on more than two dozen prior larceny convictions in Suffolk Superior and Norfolk Superior courts," the DA's office reports. Lori Palladino is scheduled for arraignment on April 4.

According to the DA's office, the two have funneled millions of dollars through Viking Financial Group - located in a small office above iScream on Centre Street, which they also own - since they incorporated it in 2007:

Viking borrowed money from investors, who were told by Steven Palladino that the funds would be used to provide loans at a higher interest rate. Very little of the money was used to make loans, prosecutors said, and it instead funded a lavish lifestyle for the Palladinos. Money borrowed from new investors was then used to repay earlier investors and to make monthly interest payments to all of the investors, prosecutors said.

Transactions show that investors' money was often transferred from Viking’s account into personal accounts held by the Palladinos and used to cover personal expenses including a vacation in the Bahamas, rent for Steven Palladino’s mistress, and hundreds of thousands of dollars paid to casinos to cover apparent gambling losses, prosecutors said.

In addition, Steven Palladino allegedly made use of investors' funds when he paid $350,000 to satisfy a condition of his probation on a 2007 Superior Court conviction for defrauding an elderly relative.

Innocent, etc.



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    From the DA's office:

    The indictment also alleges that three of the real loans Viking extended in 2007 and 2008 charged interest rates well beyond the 20 percent maximum allowed under state law. Of those loans, prosecutors said two charged interest exceeding 60 percent and a third charged over 200 percent interest.

    Bizarre- why does a "common and notorious thief"

    seem to enjoy so much respect in the community? Weren't any of these convictions prior to his recent business ventures? Did people somehow not know he was a convicted felon? There don't seem to be a lot of news hits on the web related to his prior crimes.

    Half and half?

    Maybe it's a backhanded compliment to call a couple "one of the classiest people I know."

    Don't the Pallidinos own

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    Don't the Pallidinos own IScream Works? And any relation to the late Boston pol Elvira "Pixie" Pallidino?

    Pixie was a she,Adam.

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    Pixie was a she,Adam. Notorious during the early school busing days in East Boston. I have no idea if she's alive or dead.

    I second asking how 'Pillars of the Community' praised these convicted felons and con-artist. Who was this Ward character? A 'respectable' front? Guess it's just another example of the veneer of respectability you find in some places. You don't have to dig too deep to find plenty of dirt no matter the neighborhood, town or city.

    Gone by the place a million times, never set foot in it.

    Indeed she was

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    And I've changed "he obituary" to what I meant to type, "her obituary."

    I walked by it around noon

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    Didn't seem open, but that doesn't mean anything - they have reduced hours in the winter. There weren't any big "SEIZED" signs or anything.

    Sort of like the demise of A. Borschetto bakery...

    No signs, no nothin! Lots of people walking by distressed. Lived around the corner (literally) and kept walking by on the way to the train waiting to see when it would re-open.

    I know, still too soon? I know lots of folks are still a bit ouchie about this....

    Sure will

    And if you pay for one extra ice cream cone today you'll get two tomorrow.


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