Connecticut Insurance Agent Admits Stealing Clients’ Money

November 2, 2009

Federal prosecutors say a Waterbury businessman has admitted to ripping off more than $1.3 million from clients that authorities say was used to gamble at Connecticut’s casinos.

The U.S. Attorney’s office said 54-year-old Thomas Cipriano — who owned Waterbury-based insurance and financial services firms Cipriano Agency and Selective Benefits Group — pleaded guilty Friday in New Haven to mail fraud and money laundering.

Authorities said Cipriano lost his clients’ money at the casinos and used some to pay personal expenses or to make “lulling” payments to other clients.

Cipriano faces up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $3 million and restitution when he is sentenced Jan. 18.

His public defender, Thomas Dennis, did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

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