Fox River Grove man held on Ponzi scheme charges

Updated 2/26/2011 4:54 PM

A Fox River Grove man is being held in federal custody, charged with defrauding 40 investors from Illinois and several other states over a six-year period.

Defense attorneys did not contest federal detention for Paul Joseph Cirigliano during a hearing in Rockford Friday.


Federal Judge P. Michael Mahoney found Cirigliano, also known as Paul Cirano, to be a flight risk, a U.S. Attorney spokeswoman said. He also has an outstanding warrant from Florida charging him with a probation violation.

Cirigliano has a 1992 conviction in Florida for larceny and a 1991 federal conviction in Rhode Island for failing to file a currency transaction report, authorities claim.

In a federal complaint filed last week, Cirigliano was charged with mail fraud and operating a Ponzi scheme from which he collected about $1.8 million, between 2004 and June 2010.

Federal authorities say Cirigliano owns Panoptic Studios, a Wauconda company that creates graphics, video and websites. According to the complaint, Cirigliano told investors he would use the money to purchase used analog video production equipment from U.S. companies and sell the equipment to smaller companies here and in South America.

The complaint alleges he promised investors as much as a 20 percent return within 30 days. The investors are from Lake Barrington, Schaumburg, Elmhurst and Frankfort in Illinois, as well as Michigan, Wisconsin and Ohio.

He next appears in court on March 2.