PORTLAND – A former mayor of a town in Connecticut was sentenced Thursday in U.S. District Court to serve nearly five years in prison for his role in an international wire fraud scheme.
Peter DiRosa Jr., who was mayor of Manchester, Conn., from 1987 to 1989, convinced a retired man from Kennebunk who is now in his 80s to invest $600,000 in 2008 for a real estate venture in Hungary called Castle at Polgardi, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
DiRosa, 65, and an associate, Thomas Renison, told the man that his money would be used solely as collateral for a loan to buy the land in Hungary.
The victim was wired $60,000 in June 2009 for interest accrued on the $600,000 investment, but received nothing else, according to court records.
Investigators discovered that $225,000 of the money was wired in late 2008 from a bank in Austria to a Connecticut bank account in the name of DiRosa’s wife, who was not charged.
DiRosa split the wired money with Renison, but told him that it came from investors in Connecticut, court records say.
Renison, 58, of Glastonbury, Conn., was initially charged as a co-defendant, but the federal charge against him was dismissed in September 2011 and he testified in DiRosa’s trial under an immunity order, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
DiRosa was convicted after a three-day trial in January.
Judge George Singal sentenced DiRosa to 57 months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release, for wire fraud. DiRosa was also ordered to pay $540,000 in restitution.