Rochester, N.Y. (13WHAM) – Jaleen Dambrosio and Jane Naylan weren’t friends before the summer started. But now, the pair have a bond that has brought them together.
That bond is losing money they had worked their entire lives for.
Both say they entrusted their money with Christopher Parris, 38, of Rochester, several years ago. Wednesday, they say they met with a FBI agent to try and get the money back. They claim Parris lost the money in a Ponzi Scheme.
“I thought I was doing everything the right way. I was paying my taxes, and it all just fell apart this past summer,” said Dambrosio, who says she retired three years ago after working for four decades.
According to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Parris worked with four others, including a Perry Santillo, 38, also of Rochester, to defraud hundreds of victims out of millions of dollars.
Dambrosio and Naylon say they never met Santillo, but saw his name on their paperwork they would get from Parris’ business.
Both say they haven’t been able to get a hold of Parris for months.
“He was very good at what he did. He always had an answer,” said Naylon.
“Everything seemed above board and honest,” said Dambrosio, who went on to say she never had saw any red flags with Parris after nearly 13 years.
This spring, she says he became more distant and less responsive.
According to the SEC, defrauded money was used to help fund a “jet setting lifestyle,” for people like Santillo. According to court paperwork, Santillo allegedly used the money to live lavishly in places like Las Vegas, once throwing a part for himself in a nightclub there.
“I can’t even describe it. It keeps me up at night,” said Dambrosio. “‘Devastating’ is the only word I can think of.”
Dambrosio says she lost nearly $600,000. She’s now looking for a job instead of enjoying retirement.
Her new friend, Naylon, says she lost $100,000.
“I don’t think we’re stupid people, but boy I sure do feel stupid,” said Naylon.
13WHAM tried addresses and listed numbers for both Parris and Santillo, with no luck of reaching them for comment. Two attorneys representing defendants in the case have not returned calls for comment.