BUFFALO, N.Y.– U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul announced today that Kathleen Fuoco, 60, of West Seneca, who worked for years for Richard Piccoli and Gen See Capital Corporation, pleaded guilty before Chief U.S. District Judge William M. Skrenty to two charges -- misprision of a felony and a willful failure to file tax returns. The misprision of a felony charge carries a maximum penalty of 3 years in prison, a fine of $250,000 or both. The tax charge carries a maximum penalty of 1 year in prison.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Gretchen L. Wylegala, who handled the case, stated that the defendant, who was known as Kitty, was the only employee in the offices of Gen See Capital, a business run by Richard Piccoli. In early 2009, federal agents disrupted a massive Ponzi scheme being run by Piccoli through the business. He pleaded guilty in June 2009 and is currently serving a 20 year prison sentence. The losses to investors totaled about $25,000,000. In her plea, Fuoco admitted that she came to realize that the business was a scam, but still kept working there and failed to notify authorities about the criminal nature of the business. She also admitted failing to file tax returns when she worked for Piccoli. Fuoco has agreed to a restitution order of the full amount of the investors' losses, that is, $25,000,000. Fuoco also provided assistance to law enforcement and to the Securities and Exchange Commission in identifying victims and losses.
“Financial fraud is an important priority in my office and the public should know that if you attempt to defraud any hard working citizen or turn a blind eye while someone else is committing fraud, you will be caught and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law” said U. S. Attorney Hochul.
The plea was the culmination of an investigation on the part of Special Agents of the United States Postal Inspection Service, under the direction of Robert Bethel, Inspector in Charge, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Boston Division, and Special Agents of the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigative Division, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge, Charles R. Pine.
Sentencing is scheduled for October 22, 2010, at 9:00 a.m. EST, in Buffalo, N.Y., in front of Judge Skretny.