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West Roxbury couple charged in multi-million dollar Ponzi scheme


BOSTON ( – A West Roxbury couple has been charged in connection with what prosecutors are calling a multi-million dollar Ponzi scheme in which they used investors' money to fund a lavish lifestyle.

Steven Palladino, 55, pleaded not guilty Monday to multiple counts, including larceny and loan sharking. A judge set bail at $250,000 and ordered that Palladino wear a GPS monitor, surrender his passport and not travel outside Massachusetts without court permission.

Palladino and his wife, Lori, 52, were indicted last week. She is scheduled to be arraigned next month.

Prosecutors say the Palladinos were the owners of Viking Financial Group Inc. They allege Viking borrowed money from investors, who were told the funds would be used to provide loans at a higher interest rate.

Very little of the money was used to make loans, but instead was used to pay for vacations, gambling and other personal reasons, according to prosecutors.

A message left for Steven Palladino was not immediately returned.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.