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3 Ill. men who met in prison in Wis. sentenced in Ponzi scheme

This news story was published on May 1, 2013.
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CHICAGO, April 30 (UPI) — Three men who met in federal prison in Wisconsin have been sentenced for a Ponzi scheme they perpetrated after their release, federal authorities said Tuesday.

Daniel Parrilli, 62, formerly of Carol Stream, Ill., and John Lauer, 48, formerly of Chicago were sentenced last week in U.S. District Court for a fraud scheme prosecutors said bilked about 100 victims out of more than $3.6 million. Parrilli was sentenced to 70 months in prison and Lauer was sentenced to 31 months.

Christopher Anderson, 57, formerly of Downers Grove, Ill., — described as the lead defendant — was sentenced last fall to 95 months in prison.

All three — described in a U.S. Justice Department release as serial fraud defendants — pleaded guilty to fraud.

Parrilli was ordered to pay more than $3.65 million in restitution, Lauer was ordered to pay $457,367, and Anderson was ordered to pay restitution totaling more than $3.7 million.

The three met while service sentences for other crimes at the federal prison in Oxford, Wis.

After their release from previous sentences, they engaged in a scheme in which Parrilli and Anderson posed as operators of Sundown Entertainment Inc., and raised more than $7 million from about 150 investors to buy and sell films and comic-book rights. Prosecutors said Lauer joined the enterprise and “lulled victims with false assurances about their investments.”

Prosecutors said the fraud scheme “had a terrible impact on victims, who in many cases depleted their 401K funds or their college savings, or took out loans against their homes in order to invest with the defendants.”

Copyright 2013 United Press International, Inc. (UPI).

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