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March 18, 2008

Richie Sambora jailed for fraud

A MAN who took the name of a famous rock star to steal millions of dollars from finance companies, has been jailed for 16 years.
Not even close ... the real Richie Sambora (left) and the man who used his name to commit fraud.

$25m 'Bon Jovi' fraudster sent to jail : theage.com.au
Bon Jovi fraudster jailed for 16 years : news.com.au
Judge critical of banks, as fraudster gets 16 yrs : au.news.yahoo.com

Romeo Pacifico, who changed his name to Richard Sambora, the same as the famed Bon Jovi guitarist, managed to obtain cash loans totalling $25 million.

He used the money to prop up his failing business and to fund a lavish lifestyle including the purchase of luxury homes and cars.

Over a four-year period from about 1998 to 2002, he engaged in an exercise of "robbing Peter to pay Paul", according to District Court Judge Wayne Chivell.

The judge said Pacifico was involved in string of fraud-related offences where he obtained money from finance companies supposedly for business expenses.

Some of the cash he used to pay off previous loans but Judge Chivell said of the $25,639,133 he obtained, the victims actually lost a total of more than $8 million.

The judge described the offending as premeditated, deliberate and calculated.

"It was stealing and stealing on a grand scale," he said.

Pacifico, 44, eventually pleaded guilty to 19 charges, most involving forged tax and bank statements and also asked the court to take into account another 17 offences.

On one of the counts he obtained more than $450,000 in 2001 and used it to pay off debts but also to buy four Ferraris, a Mercedes Benz and a BMW.

Judge Chivell said Pacifico had been "wilfully deluding himself" if he had believed during his offending that he could actually repay all his debts.

He said it was of particular concern that the man had also pleaded guilty to one count of deception in relation to $71,000 he obtained while on home detention bail for the earlier charges.

Such conduct, the judge said, meant a suspended sentence was out of the question.

Judge Chivell jailed Pacifico for 16 years with a non-parole-period of 10 years.

Posted by riesambo at March 18, 2008 12:20 PM