A city man accused in a scheme to defraud owners of classic cars was convicted Tuesday on six counts and acquitted on three others, attorneys said.
Ferdinando “Fred” Perillo, 65, was convicted after a bench trial of counts that included first-degree scheme to defraud. The convictions came after three days of testimony in Schenectady County Court.
Perillo was convicted of larceny related to one car — a 1976 Chevrolet Nova. He was acquitted of larceny related to two others two — a 1956 Chevrolet and a 1957 Chevrolet.
Even with the acquittals, Perillo faces a wide-range of possible sentences, the minimum being 2 to 4 years in prison, the maximum potentially being 16 to 32 years in prison.
Prosecutor Michael DeMatteo said he was unsure what sentence he will ask for at the July sentencing, but he said the victims were satisfied with the convictions.
“They have been wronged by this individual over a period of time and now they want to see him held accountable for it,” DeMatteo said.
Perillo was represented by attorney Stephen Rockmacher. He said his client was “very disappointed with the outcome.”
He said Perillo is ill from a brain injury he suffered 18 months ago and he hopes the conviction won’t have a negative impact on his health. He remains free pending sentencing.
Convicting Perillo was Judge Frank Milano. The judge decided the case without a jury at the request of the defense.
The allegations dated back to 2011 and related to Perillo’s business at 1905 State St., according to the indictment.
Perillo was accused of renting storage space for the cars and then selling them out from under their owners. All three cars were recovered and are expected to be returned to their rightful owners with the conclusion of the trial, DeMatteo said.
Perillo was accused of transferring titles using loopholes related to older cars, DeMatteo said. In at least one case, he was accused of using another car’s vehicle identification number (VIN) to transfer the title.
The allegations related to at least six separate victims, including those who had cars sold out from under them and those who unknowingly purchased the cars, DeMatteo has said.
Perillo also faced allegations related for allegedly asking for money from a client to cover expenses related to parts, but never delivering the parts.
In all, Perillo was convicted of first-degree scheme to defraud, fourth-degree grand larceny, and two counts each of second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument and third-degree grand larceny, all felonies.
He was acquitted of one count of third-degree grand larceny, and two counts of fourth-degree grand larceny.