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United States

A Greek-American from Lowell Sentenced to Prison

February 24, 2023

BOSTON – A man from Lowell, Massachusetts has been sentenced today in federal court in Boston after being found guilty of engaging in a scheme to defraud his clients of millions of dollars. Steven Xigoros, aged 55, was sentenced to 109 months in prison and two years of supervised release by U.S. District Court Judge Nathaniel M. Gorton. He was ordered to pay $4,754,184 in restitution to individual victims and the Internal Revenue Service and forfeiture in the amount of $4,321,106. In October 2022, Xigoros had pleaded guilty to two counts of wire fraud, one count of aggravated identity theft, and one count of filing a false tax return.

Between 2015 and 2021, Xigoros used his position as an accountant, tax preparer, and investment advisor to misappropriate millions of dollars from his clients. He induced clients to entrust their money to him to make various investments, purchase securities, and lend him money for purported business ventures. He then used those funds for his own expenses, including to make payments against his gambling debts. In order to deceive his clients about the fact that he had stolen their money, Xigoros made a series of false statements about how their money was purportedly invested and when he would repay it.

In total, Xigoros defrauded his clients of more than $4.3 million, including the entire life savings of one elderly couple, who gave more than $1.3 million to him to make investments on their behalf. Xigoros failed to report the misappropriated funds as income, and as a result, failed to pay taxes due and owing of more than $1 million to the Internal Revenue Service.

“For more than five years, Mr. Xigoros used his position to steal millions of dollars from his trusting clients. His victims saw him as a reliable, safe investment advisor. He had years of professional experience and many of the victims’ trust as a fellow member of their close-knit Greek community. Eventually, as his gambling debts grew, Mr. Xigoros chose to abuse this trust and rob his clients of more than $4.3 million,” said United States Attorney Rachael S. Rollins. “The financial hardship, trauma, and shame inflicted as a result of Mr. Xigoros’ fraud cannot be overstated. In some circumstances, it may last a lifetime and have generational impacts. He callously exploited vulnerable victims out of their hard-earned life savings and went to great lengths to conceal his theft. It is my hope that today’s sentence brings a sense of closure and accountability to those impacted by Mr. Xigoros’ egregious, shameful, and criminal conduct.”

“Steven Xigoros stole millions from his long-time clients, betraying their trust, and cheating taxpayers, primarily to pay off his gambling debts,” said Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Division. “Equally troubling is that he took advantage of some of those closest to him, including wiping out an elderly couple’s entire life savings. The FBI had to re-arrest Xigoros as he tried to flee the country to avoid prosecution. Today’s sentence ensures he will have plenty of time behind bars to reflect on his criminal conduct.”

“The defendant knowingly exposed individuals’ finances, their life savings in some cases, to sham investments and shady business ventures, creating financial devastation that will unfortunately last a lifetime for many,” said Joleen D. Simpson, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigations in Boston. “Today’s sentencing demonstrates that federal law enforcement collaboration is a powerful tool in thwarting criminal behavior and IRS Criminal Investigation is proud to bring our forensic accounting skills to this joint venture and help put a stop to this and other types of white collar crime.”

While on pre-trial release, Xigoros was arrested at the Newark Liberty International Airport, boarding a flight to Greece in an attempt to flee approximately two months before he was set to stand trial.

U.S. Attorney Rollins, FBI SAC Bonavolonta, and IRS SAC Simpson made the announcement. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Leslie Wright and David Holcomb of Rollins’ Securities, Financial & Cyber Fraud Unit prosecuted the case.

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