A.G. Schneiderman Announces Sentencing Of Former Insurance Agent Who Stole More Than $300k From Elderly Couple
Defendant Sentenced To Up To Six Years In Prison, Ordered To Pay Full Restitution To Victims
POUGHKEEPSIE - Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced the sentencing of a former Saratoga County insurance agent who defrauded an elderly couple of more than $300,000 over the course of a nearly eight-year period. Joseph A. Marvullo, 64, of Porter Corners, New York was sentenced in accordance with his plea agreement to two to six years of imprisonment and was ordered to pay full restitution to his victims by the Honorable Peter M. Forman in Dutchess County Court. Marvullo pleaded guilty to Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a class C felony, this past July.
“Today, on behalf of these elderly victims and their family members, justice has been served against the criminal who brazenly abused their trust to steal from their life savings,” Attorney General Schneiderman said. “My office is committed to protecting all New Yorkers from scammers, especially our most vulnerable citizens. We encourage anyone who believes they are the victims of similar frauds to immediately report it to my office.”
In a victim impact statement delivered in court today, one of the adult children of the victims said, "My mom and dad worked hard their entire lives, only to have nearly everything they had, in assets, stolen by this predator … I thank the New York State officials who helped bring justice to my parents."
Under the terms of the plea agreement, Marvullo is also barred from any further employment or participation in any consumer, insurance, or investment matters. The judge noted that if Marvullo violates his plea agreement, he could be sent to prison for up to five to fifteen years.
Marvullo met his victims through their church, and gained their trust in part by portraying himself as a fellow Christian. Once he gained their trust, he deceived them into turning over their life savings to him.
Marvullo, who was a self-employed independent insurance agent and broker, induced his victims to liquidate valuable annuities and write checks directly to him. He lured his victims into his scheme by claiming that he could sell them higher-yielding insurance and investment products than the annuities they owned. Between approximately December 27, 2000, and July 15, 2008, the victims wrote more than eighty checks totaling at least $308,652.71, payable directly to the defendant. Marvullo never used the checks they wrote to him to purchase any insurance or investment products on their behalf. Instead, he stole their money.
When the victims sought to withdraw funds from the investments that Marvullo falsely claimed to have made on their behalf, he strung them along for years. He avoided meetings and calls while seeking to retain their trust and sympathy. He claimed various personal misfortunes, including health problems and marital troubles, and laced his emails with various religious references, typically signing them “GOD BLESS-JOE.”
Any other investors or consumers who believe they were defrauded by this defendant, Joseph A. Marvullo, are requested to contact the Attorney General’s helpline at 800-771-7755.
The case was investigated by Office of the Attorney General Investigator Dennis Churns, under the supervision of Deputy Chief Investigator Antoine Karam. It was prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Joshua Vinciguerra, under the supervision of Deputy Bureau Chief Stephen Maher, Bureau Chief Gail Heatherly, and Executive Deputy Attorney General for the Criminal Division Kelly Donovan.