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Scam alert: Joseph Pezzano defrauds Peco retirees of $18.5 million!

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TLDR:

  • Joseph Pezzano, a trusted accountant, allegedly scammed Peco retirees out of $18.5 million.
  • Investors believe their life savings were misappropriated and are now questioning if their money was ever invested.

Key Elements:

Joseph Pezzano, a well-respected accountant from Montgomery County, pitched his investment plan as a conservative and low-risk option for retirees to safely invest their life savings. Many investors, including retired Peco employees, trusted him with their funds. However, after Pezzano’s death, it was discovered that as much as $30 million in investments may have been mishandled.

A federal lawsuit has been filed by 14 investors, alleging that Pezzano and his firm, along with his widow Paula Pezzano, participated in a fraudulent investment scheme, leading to losses of $18.5 million. Many investors, left without their savings, are facing financial uncertainty.

The lawsuit accuses Pezzano of misappropriating clients’ funds by transferring money to family members, purchasing real estate, or failing to invest the funds at all. Paula Pezzano, as the executor of Joseph Pezzano’s estate, is believed to have benefitted from this scheme, according to the complaint.

Attempts to recover the investments have been unsuccessful so far. Pezzano’s investment company, JPA R/E Associates, shared an address with his accounting firm, Bond, Pezzano & Etze. Despite claims of no affiliation after his death, clients found the JPA investment options book at the accounting firm’s reception area.

The FBI is investigating the case, and lawyers representing the estate are seeking a receiver to handle investor claims. Investors, who had hoped the money could still be recovered, now suspect they were victims of a Ponzi-like scheme orchestrated by Pezzano. The lack of transparency and mismanagement of funds have raised concerns about the security of investments with financial brokers.

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