A.G. Schneiderman Secures Guilty Plea From Former Insurance Agent Who Stole Over $300,000 From Elderly Couple

Defendant To Make Restitution To Victims And Face Prison Time

Schneiderman: My Office Will Swiftly Bring To Justice Anyone Who Targets The Life Savings Of The Most Vulnerable New Yorkers

POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. - Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced that a former insurance agent in Saratoga County has pleaded guilty to defrauding an elderly Dutchess County couple and stealing more than $300,000 from them during a nearly eight-year period. Joseph A. Marvullo, 64, of Greenfield, New York pleaded guilty to one count of Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a Class C Felony. Marvullo entered his plea in Dutchess County Court before the Honorable Peter M. Forman.

“Today a financial predator is being held accountable for brazenly stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from an elderly couple,” Attorney General Schneiderman said. “My office will swiftly bring to justice those who abuse the trust of vulnerable New Yorkers to steal their life savings.”

Under the terms of his plea agreement, Marvullo will be sentenced to a minimum of two to six years and a maximum of five to fifteen years imprisonment. Marvullo will also be ordered to pay over $300,000 in restitution to the victims when he is sentenced on September 10 and will be barred from 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 holding himself out 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 in his name. 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.” He was caught when the victims got fed up with his excuses and reported him to the Attorney General’s office.

Any additional investors or consumers who believe they were defrauded by this defendant, Joseph A. Marvullo, are requested to contact the Attorney General’s helpline at 1-800-771-7755.

The case was investigated by Office of the Attorney General Investigator Dennis Churns under the supervision of Deputy Chief Investigator Antoine Karam.  It is being 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.