AP NEWS

Convicted financial adviser asks judge to set aside verdicts

December 29, 2019 GMT

WATERBURY, Conn. (AP) — An attorney for a Connecticut financial adviser convicted of bilking his clients out of more than $1 million is making a last-ditch effort to have a federal judge set aside the jury’s verdicts and find him not guilty.

Leon Vaccarelli, 43, of Waterbury, was convicted in May of 21 charges, including wire fraud and money laundering. He has yet to be sentenced.

His attorney, Jonathan Einhorn, in a 24-page motion urged a judge to set aside the verdicts, arguing that Vaccarelli’s alcoholism prevented his client from forming the intent needed to commit the crimes, according to a story Saturday in The Republican American of Waterbury.

“His conduct was a product of his alcoholism and as a result his cognitive function was impacted so as to render him not guilty of the offenses charged,” Einhorn wrote.

Federal prosecutors in their objection to the motion wrote that Vaccarelli’s conduct was “replete” with fraud, as he made up financial terms to deceive clients and lied to victims about where their money had gone.

Instead of investing his clients’ money, Vaccarelli used it for personal expenses including his mortgage, and to pay off earlier investors, prosecutors said.

His victims included retirees and a nurse.

The judge has not yet ruled on Einhorn’s motion.