West Roxbury clan admits to Ponzi scheme; dad really takes a licking in court

Steven, Lori and Gregory Palladino

 

The Palladinos - Steven, Lori and Gregory - all pleaded guilty today to running a multi-million-dollar fraud scheme from atop their Centre Street ice-cream shop.

In exchange for pleading guilty in Suffolk Superior Court, Steven Palladino got 10 to12 years in state prison, followed by five years' probation, during which he's supposed to try to make restitution. Son Gregory got two years in county jail, followed by five years of restitution-making probation while his mother Lori had her two-year jail sentence suspended for five years, during which she is also expected to try to make restitution, the Suffolk County District Attorney's office reports.

Prosecutors charge that the family's Viking Financial Group - which they ran from an office above their iScream shop - promised investors large returns on loans the company was allegedly making. In fact, the DA's office says:

Much of the funds were used to fund a lavish lifestyle, including luxury vehicles, a vacation to the Bahamas, rent for Steven Palladino’s mistress, and casino trips resulting in hundreds of thousands of dollars in losses. Steven Palladino’s dealings with one casino chain were so extensive that the casino flew him, Gregory, and others to Atlantic City on a private jet.

In addition, Steven Palladino used the victims’ investments when he paid $350,000 to satisfy a condition of his probation on a 2007 Superior Court conviction for defrauding an elderly relative.

The few loans the company actually made had interest rates that violated the state's usury laws, prosecutors charged.

Steven Palladino pleaded guilty to one count each of larceny over $250, larceny over $250 from a person over 60, conspiracy to commit larceny, and tampering with evidence; two counts of uttering a false; three counts of making false check, making a false entry in corporate books; and four counts of usury. Lori Palladino pleaded guilty to one count each of larceny over $250, larceny over $250 from a person over 60, and conspiracy to commit larceny; two counts of uttering a false; three counts of making false check, making a false entry in corporate books; and three counts of usury. Gregory Palladino pleaded guilty to one count each of larceny over $250, larceny over $250 from a person over 60, conspiracy to commit larceny, and tampering with evidence; and three counts of usury. The corporate entity also entered guilty pleas on one count each of larceny over $250, larceny over $250 and from a person over 60, and tampering with evidence; two counts of uttering; and three counts of usury.

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    Comments

    Always gouge in plain sight

    Remember, kids, you can't be found guilty of criminal usury if you register with the Attorney General as a lender who intends to exceed the 20% interest threshold. G.L. c. 271, s. 49(d). Of course, you have bigger issues if criminal usury is merely your side business (or here, a side business to a side business).

    She kept the books. She knew the scam. She got no time.

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    Lori had her two-year jail sentence suspended for five years.

    They think these 3 people conspired to steal $10 million, including from old people who can't go get jobs and make what they lost.

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    She pled to the same charges as her son, right?

    Not sure how the judge justifies the suspended sentence. Chivalry? In any event, the father got a ton of time, borderline excessive relative to other white collar criminals (Wall Street being a case in point). Bet he wishes he went to trial.

    Restitution during probation?

    How about now? The hell with jail - Boston's getting 8 inches of snow. Pay 'em 14 cents an hour to shovel sidewalks. The other $7.86 an hour goes to the victims.

    Or, if they're not worth anything for labor, execute them all and sell off their organs to pay restitution.

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    iScream has gotta be the

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    iScream has gotta be the single best name for an ice cream shop run by VILLAINS.

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    Ms Sunshine

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    should be doing some time.

    3 sociopaths. New thing more to see here.

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    Ponzi

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    The way I see it you'll see them again sometime down the road, in front of a judge for something similar. Dad will be older (I wonder how much of the sentence he will really serve) and the other two will go back to what they know.

    As far as restitution goes; forget it.

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