DA Vance: John Puglisi Sentenced to 3-to-9 Years in State Prison for Stealing Millions Through Life Insurance Scam

April 20, 2016

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., today announced the sentencing of JOHN PUGLISI, 49, the former manager of a Manhattan-based life settlement provider, to 3-to-9 years in state prison for stealing millions of dollars through a scheme involving the sale and purchase of life insurance policies. On March 23, 2016, the defendant pleaded guilty in New York State Supreme Court to Grand Larceny in the First Degree.

“Misappropriating funds is not only bad for business, but a criminal offense punishable by time in state prison,” said District Attorney Vance. “Instead of working on behalf of his clients, the defendant stole millions of dollars—even earning commissions on the sale of life insurance policies that he purchased with his clients’ money.”

As admitted in the defendant’s guilty plea, between April 2010 and May 2011, PUGLISI misappropriated approximately $6 million paid to Progressive Capital Solutions, LLC, by a private equity fund for the purpose of purchasing life insurance policies. While managing the Manhattan-based life settlement provider, PUGLISI was responsible for the company’s day-to-day operations and facilitating transactions between individuals seeking to sell their policies and purchasers, who assumed premium payments and received insurance payouts upon the deaths of insured individuals. However, instead of using the designated funds to purchase life insurance policies, the defendant used the money for company expenses, including payroll and loan repayments. PUGLISI also earned a personal commission and profited from third-party re-sales of the policies that the defendant was supposed to purchase for the private equity fund.

Assistant District Attorney Natallia Krauchuk and former Assistant District Attorney Chevon Walker handled the prosecution of the case, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Julieta V. Lozano, Deputy Chief of the Major Economic Crimes Bureau, Assistant District Attorney Christopher Conroy, Chief of the Major Economic Crimes Bureau, and Executive Assistant District Attorney David Szuchman, Chief of the Investigation Division. The following individuals provided additional assistance with the case: Senior Financial Investigator Jeffrey Leap of the Forensic Accounting and Financial Investigations (“FAFI”) Bureau, under the supervision of Irene Serrapica, Deputy Chief of FAFI, and Robert Demarest, Chief of FAFI; Investigative Analysts Kellie Desrochers and Kate Fisch; and Senior Rackets Investigators Veronica Rodriguez and Matthew Winters, under the supervision of Chief Investigator Walter Alexander.

District Attorney Vance also thanked the Philadelphia Regional Office of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for its assistance with the investigation.  

Defendant Information:

JOHN PUGLISI, D.O.B. 1/12/1967
Deer Park, NY


  • Grand Larceny in the First Degree, a class B felony, 1 count


  • 3-to-9 years in state prison