Elderly lose millions to con man

94-year-old widow one of many victims targeted


His victims trusted him and in return he stole millions of their dollars and destroyed their lives.

"He lied with such ease; the only explanation I can give is he is a sociopath," said US Postal Inspector Fred Busch.

Busch is talking about John Pachini, who claimed to be an insurance salesman who also did investment consulting.

"His business was called Center for Senior Financial Planning, so it was clear from the outset that he was targeting only senior citizens," explained Busch.

Postal inspectors say Pachini would start by selling clients annuity products, "Which aren't really good investments for seniors because they are long term investments," said Busch. "He would put them in annuities because he claimed a lot of money in commission."

Authorities say Pachini was a con man.

"In some cases he liquidated them without them even knowing and simply forged their signature on the withdrawal forms," Busch said.

There were more than 70 victims and more than $3.5 million in losses. One victim was a 94 year old widow who was blind.

"Pachini would come to her house and because she can't see what she was signing he would sign for her or just take her checkbook and write out checks to himself from it. She didn't know what was going on, she just trusted him," said Busch.

Inspectors say Pachini spent the money on spending binges.

"He was just a guy that didn't need the money, he just wanted the money, stole the money and spent it on himself," Busch said.

Postal inspectors warn senior citizens are very quick to trust.

"When I've interviewed seniors they say, 'Well he told me what he was going to do with the money, and I believed him,'" said Busch.

Inspectors say if you are a friend or relative of a senior citizen, keep a close eye on how they are spending their money.

"If you don't do that then it gives free reign to these fraudsters to do whatever they want with your money and think they can get away with it," added Busch.

Pachini was sentenced to 10 years in prison followed by 3 years of probation. He was ordered to pay $3.5 million in restitution to the victims.

During the sentencing hearing, one of the victims who addressed the court was Pachini's sister in law who was recently widowed and lost $300,000 to Pachini.