Friday, January 23, 2009

Illinois Businessman Accused Of Running 22 Year Ponzi Scheme

Frank A. Castaldi, 55, of Prospect Heights, Illinois, was charged today with mail fraud, alleging he ran a Ponzi-type investment fraud scheme over a 22 year period. Castaldi allegedly sold investors six-month promissory notes that allegedly paid 10 to 15 percent annual interest. Investment funds were used to pay earlier investors and to enrich Castaldi, according to the complaint. He is also charged with making false statements to investors. The scheme has cost investors "tens of millions of dollars" according to prosecutors. He faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

Read the story here, here and here.

Read the DOJ's announcement here.


Anonymous said...


You can call us stupid, DO NOT call us greedy. Let me tell you about the people who have been affected by this horrible, evil monster, the REAL story. None of these people are “big shots” with huge fancy houses and huge fancy cars. These are regular folks who live in regular houses in regular neighborhoods. We are people who simply trusted someone that we thought was really, really smart and knew a lot about investments. Regular folks don’t know about things like that, that’s why we thought we were so lucky to find someone who knew so much about finances. He always pointed out that this is the way people in the United States make money. You use your money to make money. At the time I thought, yes, you are exactly right. Didn’t most rich people get that way by investing? We NEVER expected to get rich, we just thought we had a great opportunity to make our lives a little easier.

You think we are stupid? Let me tell you about this conman. We would go to his office and he would give us a kiss each and every time. He knew and asked about our kids each and every time. He was invited to our kids weddings, our anniversary and birthday parties. He was a family guy. He knew everyone’s financial situations because he was the neighborhood tax guy. He did everyone’s taxes in the neighborhood. He approached us about this investment opportunity because he said he wanted to help us out because “we are like family”, family helps family out. All along he was just helping himself. None of us knew anyone who knew anything about investing money. What do you do, look in the yellow pages for a stranger? No, you only trust someone that you have known for years and years and already has many successful businesses. Isn’t that the smart thing to do?

I can tell you first hand that just last month he encouraged and tried to personally get a home equity loan for someone who already had their house paid off. The reason…. This persons’ wife is very ill from cancer and he has been trying to stay home to take care of her. Frank Castaldi personally knew that. He already had money from them because they cashed in a life insurance policy to give to him. Money was still very tight. Frank Castaldi told them that they should try to get this $150,000.00 mortgage because he would be able to pay them more each month in interest and that would really help them out, make their lives a little easier. What a nice guy?! This was just last month when he absolutely knew everything was about to explode. Now these poor people don’t even have enough money for groceries. Does that sound like a greedy person to you? Does that sound like someone who just wanted to be rich and not have to work? There are many, many more stories just like this.

So many people who have worked hard their whole lives gave him their money not to become millionaires but to make their senior years a little easier and hopefully have a little left for their kids. I was personally in his office building the week before all this came out. There were at least 10 elderly men that came in within just a 20 minute timeframe. They were so heartbroken that they couldn’t even utter a sentence. All they could say was “Frank” when they walked in the door. They not only had panic in their sad, sad, old eyes, many of them had tears.

Now, because he is being so wonderfully cooperative, he gets to go home without even paying $5.00 for bail. God only knows what he is saying to help himself out. He lied so many times to us, I know he will lie in court. Don’t be fooled by his demeanor or the gift he has to convince people that he is an innocent hard working man just trying to help people out. All of us cannot be fools. He’s really, really good at it. Reports say that in 2008 alone he renewed notes for between 200 & 300 people who invested with him for a total of 68-69 million dollars. Compared to most ponzi scams, that is not a whole lot of people for that huge amount of money. That just shows you how much he was trusted and yes, I hate to say it now, but even loved. I cannot believe the things that even I am saying about him. This is so not the man that we thought we knew. There is not a soul on this earth that most of these peope will ever trust again. It is so terribly sad.

You may notice that I am not signing my real name. Let me assure you that it is NOT because I am ashamed or embarrassed. It is because I do not know what this evil little man is capable of. I refuse to lose anything more because of him. I pray for all the other victims to please try to keep your lives going. Do not give him anything else. Do not give up on this new fight we have. Do not give up on humanity.

Lastly, all you people out there that are blogging, saying we deserve this and are just greedy….. Shame on you. Tell that to just one of those poor 80 year old couples that will now die feeling like a stupid failure. That is the saddest part of all.

A honest victim of a terrible “human” being

Anonymous said...

PERSONAL LETTER TO FRANK CASTALDI-I know someone will tell you about this

Just in case you thought that we are “getting use to” what you have done to us let me assure you that we ARE NOT! Because of you we have lost everything, our cars, ours homes, our security, our lives, our souls. People are frantically trying to put their homes up for sale, sell anything they can in their houses, having to take money from their children who don’t have much themselves. You have left us dead. Do you realize that we can do nothing else 24 hours a day but to think of what you have done to us? You made us feel so stupid. The first thought on our minds when we wake up is you, the last thing we think of when we finally fall asleep is you. Day after day after day. It is NOT getting easier. You are actually killing all the older people that trusted you. Minute by minute. I know that for sure because I am not that old and my mind and body dies a little, every single second that passes. I truly do not know how they are still holding on. I pray for them every day. We are trying so hard to keep going but many of us are going to fail. I hope you realize that people are really going to die because of YOU. Die from a broken heart.

What in the world did you get out of this? Why in the world did you do this to us? Why would you hurt us like this? Was money that important to you? I do believe that you did this because your “addiction” was the respect you got from people. People loved you and thought you were so smart. You had a social life because of us. You went to our weddings, birthday parties, anniversaries and even funerals. You were the “big man” who cared about everyone and everyone loved you. That’s what drove you. You are a sick, sick person. Why couldn’t you tell us when you lost just half our money and at least gave us that?

Have you had a good life living these lies all these years? Have you been sleeping good? What do your kids think of you? What have you done to their lives? Is there anyone in the world that you care about? You can also tell that lawyer of yours to kindly wipe that smirk off his face next time he shows up on the news. We DO NOT appreciate that. What in the world is so amusing to him? He’s already making a mockery out of this. That just puts salt in our wounds.

If you have an ounce of human being inside of you, you will admit to the lies you have told us all these years and get this over as soon as possible. Give us at least a little piece of our lives back. Don’t you dare lie about what you have told us all these years to get a couple years cut off your sentence. Our “sentence” will last a life time no matter what happens to you. None of us will ever be the same or enjoy simple life like we use to. By the grace of God you will think about that.

I’m sure you thought that because the majority of your victims are elderly and do not speak English very well that they would just hide out of fear. I will do my absolute best to give them the confidence to fight and speak out because there is NOTHING to fear. We did absolutely NOTHING wrong and now these poor people are terrified because they have to talk to the FBI. The FBI! My God, this is something we watch in a movie sitting on our couches in our living rooms. This is not real life for us. How dare you put these people in these circumstances!

Lastly, I will fight till my death to get every single penny out of you and every person that was involved with you. I don’t care about the amount, I just want everything you have. You deserve NOTHING. They deserve NOTHING. These victims deserve their money back. The deserve so much more than that but at least give them that. If you have any of their money left, I beg you to tell them. Money will no longer give you the respect you have craved all these years. Nothing will give that back to you but at least show us that maybe one time, even if it was years ago, you cared just a little bit about these people. Just give them that, even if it is not the truth. For some reason it is still important to them.

Time is the worst thing for us right now but it is also the best thing. We are not just sickened and shocked anymore. Time has allowed us to get MAD. I look forward to seeing you in court. I want to see your face. I want you to look at us. We need to know what you have to say to us. I want to see you go to prison so I can send you a note every day to remind you that we will never, ever forgive you or let you forget what you have done. I will keep you up to date on how these peoples’ lives turned out because of you. I will send you the funeral cards. We are not on this earth long enough to begin with so the fact the you have taken years off our lives should forever be in the back of your mind. I will help remind you of that. I promise.

This is definitely not the last time you will hear from me. I will continue to inform the victims of any news as time goes on and keep them motivated to fight this to the end. Right now my only wish for you is that your children do not have to carry on this legacy.

P.S. Since you always asked about my kids I will update you…. They are not doing so good.

Chris Marquet said...

Dear Anonymous:

I am glad you were able to get that off your chest. I hope it proves cathartic for you and things turn around for you and your family. Unfortunately, there will always be the Frank Castaldi's of the world who abuse trusts - in this case massively - and take advantage where they can. The only good news here is that he has been caught and will pay a price.

Anonymous said...

To my fellow victims: Just want to give you an update and let you know what I am trying to do this next week. It seems no one in the newspaper and/or television industry cares about our situation. I have contacted so many people to no avail. I do have someone at the Chicago Tribune that would like to do a story on us though. If you are interested pls contact Steve Schmadeke at the Chicago Tribune. In the meantime, I have contacted the Oprah show and my goal this week is to write to every congress person in the city of Chicago, Norridge and Prospect Heights. They need to help us out here. I am not going to ask for any hand-outs but I believe they can and should help us out in other ways. First of all, we all received our real estate tax bills and this is certainly not a good time for that. I will ask them to put a hold on these bills for at least 6 months. I am also going to ask them to contact the mortgage companies of all the victims who are having a difficult time paying their mortgage and are risking losing their homes. We can give them proof of being a victim quite easily. For so many people their homes are the only thing they have left. Their homes are only thing left that they can still feel proud of . Not to dismiss our financial responsibility but to put a hold on our accounts for at least 6 months. They can simply add those months to the end. Those damn banks can sell just one house that that stole from someone to make up for our payments for just a little while. In the United States of America aren’t people suppose to help people out? At least those bank executives will be able to tell the press that they are doing something good for people, rather than the awful things they have been doing for years with OUR money. They should cherish the opportunity to do so. Funny thing though, I bet most people won’t even take that opportunity because of pride. If not, please at least let them know that you care.

These politicians need to do something for us regular people too. I’m sick and tired of seeing them on the news fighting like a bunch of idiots and getting nothing done. Give any one of us a week in their office and we can show them what to do. Most of us can figure out how to feed a family of 4 on 50.00 a week and these damn politicians can’t figure out how to spend millions of dollars effectively. It’s about time they did something to really help. It’s time for them to earn just a fraction of their outrageous salaries. THEY are going to have to speak for us because no cares about or hears OUR voices. Time to step up. I’m sick and tired of these politicians who don’t give a crap about anything but keeping their nonsense jobs and trying to get their family members who have no experience and/or work ethic a job also. Why aren’t just one of them holding news conferences or holding protests to help US out? I wonder why. There must be some politicians that care and would like to help. I don’t know who they are, probably because they are actually in their offices doing real work rather than carrying on like a bunch of whiny 6 year olds complaining about how unfair they are being treated. You have got to be kidding me! You want to talk about unfair, read our stories. If the government caught Frank Castaldi doing something illegal (none of us even know today exactly what that is), why would it have taken them 30 years to figure it out? Please just give us some answers. Please at least help us keep our homes.

I’m sick of the banks just taking homes from people and they are just holding on to these homes until times get better and they can get the big bucks. Has there been anyone who actually got to purchase a foreclosed home? It is next to impossible. They are getting so much money from the government and are still not offering any of it to people who need a loan. They are just holding on to it themselves. I’m sick of all the good people suffering in these times when there are corporations throwing big parties and flying in million dollar jets, I’m sick of these victims not being able to sleep each night because they are scared to death someone is going to take their home away, the only thing they have left in life. This is not how things are suppose to work out for hard working people. It’s just not how it is suppose to work out. I don’t think people who read about this ponzi scheme really understand how this has ruined our lives. I don’t think they really know that we were not rich people, we did not live rich lives. Frank Castaldi was our bank. He was our savings account. He assured us we had a future. Now people have nothing and are talking of suicide. Some have even tried. Someone needs to assure them that they are not guilty by association. We can tell each other that all day long but the fact that we have to answer questions to the FBI is incomprehensible. Why should we have to answer even one question? We simply gave our hard earned money to someone to invest and trusted that what he told us was right. I know so many people think we intentionally “ripped off” the government. My God, if you only knew. These poor old people are so scared. They are so scared that someone is going to think they did something wrong because Frank Castaldi did something wrong. That is so not right. I’m sick of trying to explain ourselves and trying to tell others that we really, really are good honest people. My whole life I have lived by the theory that if you are a good person, good things happen to you. My whole life I have been obnoxiously honest. There must be something good that has to come out of this. It is so hard not to change that way of thinking. I feel my heart is hardening and I don’t want it to happen. It is becoming increasingly difficult.

I’m sorry to be rambling so much this time but as each of us know, we have some ok days and we have some really bad days. For me, today is a really bad day. We wake up every morning and just pray that when we open our eyes we were just having a really bad nightmare. We wish we didn’t even have to sleep at all so we don’t have to realize over and over each morning what this man did this to us and and how our lives have changed. I will hopefully be ok because I am young enough to start over but for God’s sake, please, someone do something for these older people who cannot do that. They cannot only go back to work, they don’t even have the spirit to live anymore. I already know several people who have tried to take their lives. They do not deserve this. They do not deserve this at all. We need to help them. Please, someone help them. Don’t take their homes away from them because an evil little “man” took away not only their money but their pride, their soul, their confidence, their will to live.

You know what, I think I will just forward this exact letter to the politicians and community activists. I would love for any of the other victims to forward this letter to their representatives from their towns also. We need to help each other out. Please fill out those papers we are receiving from the DA office. I know you don’t feel you should have to answer a single question, Frank does. I have been told that by a few people. I give you so much credit for thinking that way but in reality, we need to tell them our side. We need to tell them the truth. Please just fill out the letter and just be honest. Let them know what Frank told us. Make sure you give a copy of every single check if you received any. They need the names of the banks and any other people who’s names might be on them.

To Frank Castaldi: Why in the world were you ever born?

Anonymous said...

To all Frank Castaldi victims YOU MIGHT WANT TO LOOK THIS UP

Since it has been just over 2 months with NO information you might find some interesting things if you look in both these websites. I found these free PUBLIC websites and have searched several times, but there are way too many things I do not understand. All I do know is there is ALOT of money lawsuits, deeds, trustee things, releases and many other official recorded suits regarding the Castaldi's. I wish someone who knew the law would read through all these and let us know, in layman terms, what all of them mean. I am actually trying to do that right now but would appreciate some help. I feel as if I am fighting a losing battle here. Hopefully the FBI is reviewing all these cases that are listed there. These are free PUBLIC websites: (look under online case information) AND
(search under grantor/grantee search)
Trust me, it will take you some time to go through everything but if you know the law lingo this will probably be very helpful and beneficial to all of us. Any info would be appreciated.

To Frank Castaldi: I hate your guts more this minute than I did the last minute. Hope you had a nice dinner tonight. By the way, we are losing another victim soon, he had a heart attack when he found out what you did and they don't think he will make it. You also had an elderly employee who’s sister tried to commit suicide so her sister would get some money from her insurance policy. You see, they have NO money. Real life Frank. Luckily she did not succeed. Just keeping you posted.

Sleep well.

Anonymous said...

My heart goes out to everyone who was scammed by Frank Castaldi. I dont think u r stupid, just naive. My parents always said be leary of someone who promises something that is too good to be true. I hope all of you can get some closure soon; for your sake. It is eating u up....that is not healthy. Remember HE WILL pay the price for what happened. I knew Frank through a relative of mine. Frank did my taxes a few times. He never approached me about these scams because I didnt have any money. All he did was offer the services of his travel agency. When I met him the first time, I will say he was able to convey that he is a family man, sweet, kind etc. My last association was in 2008. I can honestly say he seemed different to me...he portrayed such arrogance and superiority. I left that office thinking I will never have anything to do with him again. I did experience some problems with my tax return; nothing major, but I truly hated him and said to myself: his day will come. Well, guess what? It did. God is punishing him for his evil ways. I cant imagine how hopeless things must be for all of Frank's victims. I pray that God will in some way help all of you. God bless each and every one of you.

Anonymous said...

Can anyone make sense out of this information that I found.

First, Frank Castaldi filed 8 tax objection complaints with the Circuit Court on 3-6-2009. They are all regarding his property on Cumberland. From what I have read a tax objection complaint is filed when you are disputing your tax bill. He is the petitioner, the respondent is Cook County Treasurer/States Attorney for lawyer. With everything he has going on right now why would “he” think about and take the time to do this? Why also would he do this if all his businesses are in foreclosure including Cumberland?

Secondly, on 2-11-2009 the Cook County Treasurer received a total of $32,899.20 worth of tax payments from either him, his dad George or someone who paid these bills for them. For these same 8 tax payments 6 of them show Mailing Information to George Castaldi at 4501 Cumberland and 2 of them show Mailing Information as FNBW Bank Castaldi. Who the heck had the money to pay these bills?

This makes no sense to me at all. Why was this done? Who is this to benefit? If George paid these bills why aren’t his assets frozen? He signed our notes just the same as Frank did.

You can find these public records at:

Tax objection complaints:
Look under online case info and then county docket search. The pin numbers are:
12-14-216-001-0000 thru 12-14-216-008-0000

The tax payments can be found:
Enter the pin nos listed above

If anyone can find out what this means or even have an opinion on what is going on please let us know. I’m still searching for any information about anything.

(Regarding the previous court dad about his assets of the pizza place, no one showed up but me. Neither him or his lawyer came)

Thank You

Anonymous said...

I went to Franks bankruptcy court today and to the psychic two days ago. I will tell you about the court first.

Frank did not show up. There were two lawyers from creditors, his lawyer (not the same one that was on the news with him) and a lady who I forgot where she said she was from. She said she was not on either side she said. Maybe the treasury dept. but I am not sure. It was over in about 3 seconds. Franks lawyer simply said that he is not contesting the bankruptcy. That was it.

I must tell you though that it was WONDERFUL and quite odd to hear his name called in court.

I spoke to the lady after court to see if I could get any additional information. There was really nothing new that she told me though. I wish I would have asked her if the creditors will get paid before or after we will WHEN the money is found. If anyone knows that answer I would like to know. She explained to me that the involuntary bankruptcy is issued to make sure that any money/assets Frank has DO NOT stay with him. He loses everything. Until this bankruptcy any assets still belonged to him. Can you believe that?
This lady also told me that on the 6th and 20th floors of the courtroom there are computers for public access to get case information. I went to them but did not learn anything other than what I have already found online. Sorry I cannot give more interesting information.

Now, for the psychic….. Please keep in mind that this is NOT based on any facts. It is just a psychic, although I have to tell you that he was unbelievably accurate in about 80% of the things he said about my life. It was actually scary. And I do/did not believe in stuff like that at all.

He did not say anything about Frank until I asked him. He actually told me his name but called him Frankie, not Frank. I have no idea how he knew that. The first thing he said, and said it very strongly, is the “He is a pathological liar. He repeated that several times and said he has been a pathological liar his whole life. He said that we will get SOME of our money back. He said that Frank stashed the money somewhere, probably in Europe. He said that he has no remorse for what he did. He said he has a partner, not his dad and not his brother. He said that his brother is devastated by this. He said the word devastated very strongly. He could/did not give me any specific dates on anything.

Take this information for what it is worth. I cannot tell you that any of this is true. But I will repeat that this guy was eerily correct about so many things that are impossible to know. He knew only my first name when I saw him.

If I learn anything else, as always, I will post it.

Anonymous said...

Frank Castaldi’s court date extended to July 22

I do not have online access to the updated court docket but I did get a copy of it and will type what it says.

“It is hereby ordered that the time within which to file an indictment against the defendant be extended from May 23, 2009 to and including July 22, 2009. Specifically, this Court finds that the ends of justice served by the extension outweigh the best interests of the public and the defendant in a speedy trial because, due to the complexity of this case, the failure to grant such an extension would deny the government and counsel for defendant the reasonable time necessary for effective preparation, taking into account the exercise of due diligence.”

The judge is Chief Judge James F. Holderman

Well there it is. Extended again. I have been told that this should be looked at as a good thing for us. In my very unprofessional opinion, this can only mean that the government either knows or suspects something more than what is just obvious to us, that he stole our money. Doesn’t seem like Frank is cooperating very much if you ask me. (Little asshole)
Who really knows what this means?

I have tried contacting Felice Weiler at the attorney generals office several times only to get a voice mail. She has called me back but I have been at work each time and cannot answer the phone. I have not yet gotten the chance to talk to her. I would recommend that anyone who has the time call her to try to not only get any information but to express to her how he has affected our lives. I believe that is just as important, for them to learn what kind of a monster he really is. They NEED to know that for sentencing.

The phone number is 312-886-4196

Anonymous said...

O.K. People keep on pushing and keep on trying to make sure all that can be done is being done. Shame to the low life Castaldi family that is now in hiding. Not one of you have an ounce of dignity. None of you should see the light of day. It's bad enough Frank did this but not one single Castaldi low life is trying to do the right thing and make it right. Where are the Castaldi children? Where is Gilma??? Her parents are just as bad for hiding her instead of teaching her that you just don't get to ruin peoples lives and go about your hiding merry way.
Every penny the Castaldis' try to enjoy is blood money and may it all go to medicine for the uncurable diseases that are wished upon you all AND MAY EACH OF YOU EXPERIENCE A SLOW SLOW DEATH IN EACH OTHERS PRESENCE ONE BY ONE! AND FOR THAT YOU CAN THANK FRANK.

Anonymous said...

If you are trying to find the Castaldi family you can try Prospect hts. or Wheeling.

Anonymous said...

Well my first post was over a year ago. I posted out of the need to express our pain and make other victims know they are not alone with those same feelings. Outsiders would think that everything would be resolved by now I bet, based on the fact that Madoff went to jail fairly quickly. I would now like to tell how our lives, as well as Frank's life is doing. Hopefully there are many who have adjusted. Unfortunately there are many more that have not. Probably never will. I logically know that we need to go on with life and I try to do just that daily, minute by minute. But when you have to do it minute by minute you really aren’t getting on with your life. I had hope when I first posted, that more than a year later that disgusting sick feeling that was trapped in my body would have ceased, at least lessen. Unfortunately it has not. I have just learned how to control it. Some times better than others. I do hate myself for letting him continue to have any type of hold on me, on my life. It is impossible to "get over it." I know money is not everything, it still isn't. I have always thought that. I just never realized how many daily, routine, "normal" things in life have something to do with having money. Even trying to do something like buying groceries is a reminder of what he did to us. I don't think anyone from outside our victims' circle realizes that Frank took ALL of most of these poor victims money. They truly have nothing. None. They are too old to get jobs. There is no future hopes of gaining any type of financial security. None. It will never happen. People who have worked since they were 12-13 years old are now getting food stamps. The lucky ones. They are old. They are now sick. They are now dying. I am not being dramatic. I am being honest. EVERYONE is my immediately family has become gravely ill since this happened. Every single one of them. Coincidence? I don’t think so. I am one of the lucky ones who has a job and hope, but I am still haunted daily. How can I expect the less fortunate to be able handle life after losing their life savings? I can only pray for them. There is no hope of getting any money from Frank. The government says there is nothing. At least nothing they can find.

You would think that Frank is in jail wouldn't you? Especially since he PLEADED GUILTY August 26, 2009. Not so. He went home that day. He had his children in the courtroom with him so his lawyer could say at least 10 times "he has 4 children, they are in the courtroom" as he pointed to them. He referenced them even when it made no sense to do so. It was disgusting. His next court date is in SEPTEMBER! He is living at home with his parents. He is more comfortable than most of his victims. How does that make sense? It is documented that Frank told the government that he learned how to do this from his father while he was in high school. Yes, that long ago. Evil, evil family. By the way, pops has not been charged with anything. No previous partners either. Doesn't make sense. How in the world can someone plead guilty to stealing so, so much money and walk out of the courtroom? What he did to people is truly the equivalent of murder for some of these people. Walking corpse. Merely that. And he walked away.

(Continued below)

Anonymous said...

(Continued from above)

It is so unbelievable to this day that another human being can do something so horrible to anyone. Much less people who both loved and trusted him. It is just unbelievable. I have not heard of any comment from Frank himself. I don't know anyone else who has either. He has supposedly been spotted driving around. Some reports I do not believe, some I do. Oh, and he is on supposed house arrest. I guess going to Jewel is acceptable when you are on house arrest. Go figure. I can't believe he even has the gall to show his face in public. His disgusting, “poor me” , face. No shame I suppose. Just confirms how cold he is. Cold and evil.
My dream is the day he is sentenced. I'm sure it won't be for nearly long enough. The government has said they "must recommend the minimum sentencing" because he has been so cooperative, the ideal defendant. Well, he was also the ideal financial advisor. We know now how well that worked out. He fooled us and he now fooled the government. Still playing the nice guy who wouldn‘t hurt a flea. Family man. Religious man. When in actuality he is no man at all. I hope time doesn't make victims any less committed to putting him away and speaking to the courts. I know it won't for me. Ever.

I am trying to get a new "normal" in life. Every time I feel that life is almost just as good as before, I remember all the victims who are living a horrible life and I then feel guilty. Guilty that I am enjoying life again and they cannot. Some are relatives so I know this as a fact. So sad. He has to know how he has left these people. He knew how what he was doing would eventually affect them. He did it anyway. What words can you use effectively to convey that to a judge? There are no words in any language that can adequately describe him.

I can only pray that justice WILL prevail for us. At least as much justice as the government and the ridiculous laws allow.

I suppose life goes on. It really is no longer life. It’s simply just living. Just being. Just being here with a hole in your heart that you can physically feel get larger every day. And as hard as you try, you can’t control or stop it. And you hate yourself because you can’t control or stop it.

No, life is not better a year and a half later. There is no money. Frank is not in jail. No one cares.

Just in case anyone was curious.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

I supect that many of the folks following this are now aware of the outcome but here's the outcome of this case:

Frank Castaldi, who ran a Chicago- area Ponzi scheme for 22 years that cost victims $31.6 million, was sentenced to 23 years in prison today in federal court.

For 22 years, Castaldi, 57, of suburban Prospect Heights preyed upon elderly Italian immigrants, U.S. District Judge John Darrah said today before handing down the sentence.

“This is an offense of huge magnitude,” the judge said after hearing from victims of the scheme in a packed courtroom. “It involved hundreds of victims. It involved millions of dollars.”

In an August 2009 plea agreement, Castaldi said he had raised more than $77 million from 473 groups and individuals. First charged in January of last year, he admitted to mail fraud and to trying to thwart a U.S. Internal Revenue Service probe.

The sentence imposed by Darrah was in excess of the federal sentencing guidelines-recommended range and the 12 1/2 year term suggested by prosecutors in a Sept. 8 court filing.

Castaldi, an accountant and businessman, received consecutive sentences of 20 years on the fraud count and 3 years on the obstruction count. He is required to report to prison on Nov. 15.

Castaldi’s attorney, Michael Monico of Chicago, couldn’t be reached for comment after the hearing. His client brought the scheme to the attention of U.S. law enforcement last year.

“The fraud scheme caused many of the victims to lose their homes, retirement income and life savings,” the office of Chicago U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald said in a statement after the sentencing.

Annual Returns
They had been promised a 10 percent to 15 percent annual return on promissory notes he had sold them, Fitzgerald said.

One of those victims was Ugo Carlino of Franklin Park, a retired paper-factory worker who was one of the victims who addressed the judge.

Carlino had given Castaldi $180,000, much of which had been withdrawn from his pension, incurring a $22,000 tax penalty, the retiree said in an interview outside the court room. Net of that penalty, he got back only $17,000.

“He really did something that he could have stopped doing after the first year,” Carlino said. The former factory worker said he had been friends with Castaldi’s father for more than 40 years and had originally hired Frank Castaldi to handle his taxes.

“He captured my trust over the years,” Carlino said.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Veach asked Darrah for 90 days before imposing a restitution order, to allow investigators to continue to search for assets to return to the fraud victims. A spokesman for Fitzgerald, Randall Samborn, said virtually no money has been recovered thus far.

The case is U.S. v. Castaldi, 09cr59, Northern District of Illinois (Chicago).