A former insurance agent from Greenfield admitted Thursday to bilking an elderly Dutchess County couple out of more than $300,000, the state Attorney General’s Office said.
Joseph A. Marvullo, 64, admitted to taking the money from 2000 to 2008 under the guise of investing it, officials said. Instead, he simply pocketed the money.
“Today a financial predator is being held accountable for brazenly stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from an elderly couple,” Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said in a statement. “My office will swiftly bring to justice those who abuse the trust of vulnerable New Yorkers to steal their life savings.”
Marvullo pleaded guilty in Dutchess County Court to one count of second-degree grand larceny, a felony.
In return, he is to be sentenced in September to a minimum of two to six years in state prison. He will also be ordered to repay the money he took from the couple and be barred from further employment or participation in consumer, insurance or investment matters.
Marvullo initially met the victims through their church, officials said, gaining their trust by holding himself out as a fellow Christian. He then deceived them into turning over their life savings to him, officials said.
Marvullo then encouraged them to liquidate annuities and write checks directly to him, in his name, saying he could get them higher yields.
Between 2000 and 20008, the couple turned over more than 80 checks, totaling $308,000. But he never used the money to purchase any insurance or investment products, officials said.
When the victims sought to withdraw funds, he then strung them along for years by claiming various personal misfortunes, officials said, including health problems and marital troubles. He also laced his emails with religious references.
The victims finally took their case to the Attorney General’s Office.
Anyone who believes they may have also been defrauded by Marvullo can call the Attorney General’s help line at 1-800-771-7755.