Investigators say a woman collected millions of dollars from her victims -many of them veterans- after promising them government benefits in a ponzi scheme.
Gina Palasini has been sentenced to more than six years in prison and ordered to pay $2 million in restitution after being caught running the scam.
“I fell in. Hook, line and sinker,” said victim Mack Gurley. “I thought she was representing the VA (Veterans Affairs). I was even more so convinced when she freely invited me to her house and introduced me to her family.”
According News 4 San Antonio, US Postal Inspector Kyle Parker says that Palasini would convince her victims to reallocate and diversify their assets into an annuity for family trusts.
However, the plan came undone after people started looking into the matter.
“Once the victims started asking questions, that’s when the excuses started coming out,” Parker said..
A total of 13 victims lost $2 million total, Gurley included.
“I did one of the most stupid things I ever did in my life,” Gurley said. “I wrote her a check for $100,000.”
The incident struck home for Inspector Parker, who says Palasini had a very specific demographic in her sights.
“It’s heartbreaking. They worked their entire lives, from anywhere from being a firefighter to a pastor to being in the military,” says Parker. “She tarted those that were elderly, but also those that were veterans.”
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