PORTLAND, Maine — The jury trial of a Connecticut man accused of defrauding an elderly York County man out of more than $500,000 began Monday in U.S. District Court.
Peter DiRosa, 65, of Manchester, Conn., pleaded not guilty to wire fraud in November 2011.
DiRosa remains free on $50,000 unsecured bail.
Prosecutors alleged that DiRosa persuaded a now 81-year-old Kennebunk man to invest $600,000 in retirement funds in a Hungarian resort development in May 2008. The retiree has received just $60,000 of his investment back, according to court documents.
DiRosa told the man he could expect a profit of $400,000 in six months and an additional $39,000 to cover lost income from his annuities, according to trial briefs filed in federal court in Portland.
In September and October 2008 a total of about $225,000 was wired to a Connecticut bank account in DiRosa’s wife’s name from a bank in Austria, according to the prosecution’s trial brief.
DiRosa’s wife has not been charged.
The trial has been delayed at least four times while prosecutors waited for records from overseas banks, according to court records.
In July, U.S. District Judge George Singal allowed the victim to be deposed due to the elderly man’s “deteriorating health.” The victim was able to testify in person Monday, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Craig Wolff declined Monday afternoon to comment on the victim’s health or demeanor.
The victim has filed a lawsuit against DiRosa in state court, according to documents filed in the criminal case. Information about the pending litigation was not available late Monday afternoon.
The criminal trial in federal court in Portland is scheduled to go to the jury Friday.
If convicted, DiRosa faces up to 20 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine.