A former attorney has been sentenced to more than three years in prison for his role in a fraud scheme involving mortgage investments.
Mark Pagani, 61, of Bolton, was sentenced last week in Hartford federal court to 45 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for fraud and tax evasion offenses, the U.S. attorney’s office said in a statement. Pagani had pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and one count of tax evasion in August 2021.
According to court documents and statements made in court, from 2013 to at least August 2015, Pagani conspired with another person to defraud a victim investor of more than $1 million. The other person, who is now deceased, was identified by the U.S. attorney’s office as “K.S.”
As part of the conspiracy, K.S. arranged investment deals with the victim, including the purported acquisition of mortgages on properties. Pagani drafted documents to memorialize certain investment deals, the statement said, and accepted funds from the victim. Pagani held the funds in accounts he controlled and transferred funds to entities controlled by K.S. and others.
By the time the victim investor made a third investment, which was to acquire mortgages on properties in Springfield, Massachusetts, and Middletown, Connecticut, Pagani knew that the first two investments had not occurred, and that the third investment was not legitimate, according to the statement.
For the third investment, the victim wired more than $1.3 million to an account Pagani controlled. These funds were comingled with other funds, the statement said, and Pagani sent a portion of those funds to an entity for the benefit of K.S. In order to conceal the fraud and to create the appearance that it was a legitimate investment, Pagani wired false interest payments to the victim.
The statement added that for the 2014 through 2017 tax years, Pagani paid for personal and other expenses using his law firm account and underreported his income on his federal tax returns, resulting in a tax loss of $181,702. Pagani was previously a practicing attorney with a law office in Wethersfield.
The statement said a restitution order would be issued at a later date.