Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A 62-year-old investment fund manager pleaded guilty at federal court in Central Islip on Monday to securities fraud after operating a nine-year Ponzi scheme that netted more than $17 million.James Peister agreed to pay $9.6 million in restitution to dozens of victims and to forfeit $17.9 million in assets, including his St. James home and a Hummer, prosecutors said.“For nearly a decade, rather than make sound investment decisions as he had promised, James Peister fleeced dozens of investors and used their money to fund his own lavish lifestyle,” Loretta Lynch, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, said in a statement.Prosecutors said Peister ripped off at least 74 investors through several investments funds—Northstar International Group Inc., North American Globex Group, and North American Globex Fund, LP—between January 2000 and June 2009.Victims believed they were investing in stocks, futures and fixed income instruments, prosecutors said. Instead, Peister used their money to pay out existing investors, finance his business and pay for his home and Hummer, prosecutors said.He was able to maintain the fraud by providing phony financial statements to investors and auditors that overstated the value of his clients’ assets, prosecutors said.The scheme fell apart when the economy collapsed in 2008, prosecutors said. Peister was arrested in June of this year.Peister is scheduled to be sentenced on March 6, 2015. He faces up to 20 years in prison.
Sara Burczy joins Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermontas the new Wellness and Community Outreach CoordinatorBerlin, VT Sara Burczy is the new Wellness and Community Outreach Coordinator at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont (BCBSVT). She has responsibility for the day-to-day management of the three-year Vermont Worksite Wellness Project sponsored by BCBSVT and the University of Vermont. This exciting research study is funded by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Health Protection Research Initiative. The project will test the effectiveness of various types of wellness programs in the workplace. The project will offer a randomly selected group of 32 BCBSVT employer accounts with between 51 and 249 employees free worksite wellness programming in four areasnutrition and weight management, physical activity, stress reduction, and smoking cessationfor a period of 24 months. As project manager, Ms. Burczy will oversee the collection of outcomes data at regular six-month intervals.Ms. Burczy has extensive experience helping Vermonters from all walks of life to adopt healthier lifestyles. As a UVM Extension Professor and Nutrition & Food Specialist, she developed and implemented nutrition and health education programs throughout the state for over twenty-five years. Working with other UVM faculty, she also previously conducted research related to worksite wellness and nutrition (including obesity prevention and weight management). In addition, she served on the committee that created the University of Vermont employee wellness program in the 1990s. Prior to joining UVM Extension, Sara was the Marketing Assistant at the Burlington Savings Bank.Ms. Burczy earned her Master of Extension Education degree at the University of Vermont, where her concentration was community nutrition and health education. She did her undergraduate work at the University of Nebraska, where she graduated with high distinction with a dual major in journalism and family and consumer sciences. Ms. Burczy has received several national professional awards for her teaching, research and media work in the areas of nutrition and wellness.Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont is the state’s oldest and largest private health insurer, providing coverage for about 180,000 Vermonters. It employs over 350 Vermonters at its headquarters in Berlin and branch office in Williston, and offers group and individual health plans to Vermonters. More information about Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont is available on the Internet at www.bcbsvt.com(link is external). Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont is an independent corporation operating under a license with the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans.(End)