YOUNGSTOWN — A Poland man is accused of scamming an elderly woman out of $99,000.
Nicholas J. Pupino, 82, of Clingan Road, told her the money could be invested with insurance firms to generate money for nursing home costs, or to pass on to her family.
But the money ended up in Pupino's bank account, according to a release from the Ohio Department of Commerce, which referred Pupino to county authorities.
The Mahoning County Grand Jury indicted Pupino earlier this month on three felony counts for securities fraud, forgery and for theft from a person in a protected class.
Pupino entered a written not guilty plea, waiving his arraignment, which was set for Tuesday, according to court records. He's currently free on a $15,000 bond.
Pupino solicited the woman to invest the money between December 2014 and June 2017, according to the indictment.
He also named himself payee on the woman's signed investment checks, so he could deposit them in his own account.
Before investing, the department's Division of Securities encourages potential investors to call the division's Investor Protection Hotline at 877-683-7841 to ask:
- Is the brokerage firm and salesperson licensed to sell securities in Ohio?
- Have any enforcement actions been taken against them?
- Has the security been properly registered with the Division of Securities?