Rockford CEO Accused of Running Ponzi Scheme

By: Meghan Dwyer Email
By: Meghan Dwyer Email

ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- Some ripped off investors are calling him Rockford's Bernie Madoff. Federal prosecutors say the man in charge of Commercial Mortgage and Finance stole more than $20 million from people who were just trying to save for retirement.

After digging into the case and learning about what allegedly happened to all of that money, it appears that a lot of it is gone.

However, the lawyer representing the creditors, people who invested up to half a million with Commercial Mortgage and Finance, says he's trying to get them at least 20% of their money back by next summer.

This week prosecutors indicted 77-year-old Anthony D'Agonstino, the former President of Commercial Mortgage and Finance. Court documents say he ran a Ponzi scheme in Rockford for more than a decade, bilking nearly 1400 people out of their money. Sengla Vanmanivong was one of those investors. She lost $100,000 after investing with the company for 30 years.

"I didn't think he was a thief, he should have told us the truth,” said Vanmanivong.

D'Agostino will be in court on December 27th, for a formal arraignment.

As for whether or not these were risky investments, it depends on who you ask. Some of these people thought Commercial Mortgage and Finance was like a bank - but it turns out they weren't a bank and they weren't FDIC insured. After looking at court documents, it appears as if the company never actually turned a profit.

Calls to D'Agostino's home were not returned.


Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
powered by Disqus
23 WIFR 2523 North Meridian Road Rockford, IL. 61101 Business: 815-987-5300 Fax: 815-965-0981 News: 815-987-5330 Fax: 815-987-5333
Gray Television, Inc. - Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 183255312