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Rochester man pleads guilty to role in $100 million Ponzi scheme; Victor couple lost $214K

Federal prosecutors say Perry Santillo liked to dress the part.

“I wear a suit every day. I don’ t have $1.2 million dollars worth of suits,” said John Field, an assistant prosecutor involved with the case.

According to court documents, Santillo threw himself a lavish $150,000 birthday bash at a Las Vegas Casino. He commissioned a rap song called “King Perry, King of Hyde.” It refers to his “thousand dollar suit everywhere he ride.” The money referenced in the song is money he now admits he received by bilking a thousand investors in a $100 million Ponzi scheme that stretched across New York and at least 11 other states.

Santillo, 39, pleaded guilty in federal court to conspiracy to commit mail fraud, mail fraud, and conspiracy to launder money.

Some of his victims including a married couple in Victor who lost $214,258.67 and a man in Webster who lost $94,341.89 – both incidents in which they lost their life savings.

“In this case it was a total sham. Total,” said David J. Freed, a U.S. Attorney in Pennsylvania. Santillo has pleaded guilty in New York and Pennsylvania and is also named in a separate Securities and Exchange Commission investigation.

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