A Suffolk County grand jury yesterday indicted Gregory Palladino, 28, on charges of helping his parents Steven and Lori pilfer upwards of $10 million from clients of the family financial consulting firm - many of them over the age of 60.
The indictment supersedes an earlier indictment against Steven and Lori Palladino over the operation of Viking Financial Group, the firm they ran from an office upstairs from their iScream ice-cream shop on Centre Street. According to the Suffolk County District Attorney's office:
Prosecutors allege that the defendants told investors their funds would be used to make secured loans to borrowers at a higher interest rate than Viking would pay its investors. Viking would keep the difference, the Palladinos allegedly said, allowing it to make money while providing a high yield, low-risk investment to the investors.
Very little of the money was used to make loans, however, and prosecutors say 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 luxury vehicles, 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.
Gregory Palladino was charged specifically with one count of conspiracy to commit larceny, three counts of usury and one count of tampering with evidence.