(Source: By Anthony A. Mestas, The Pueblo Chieftain, Colo. (MCT) – A Pueblo mortgage broker convicted in May of bilking at least $160,000 from a friend, was sentenced Monday to five years probation and may serve a 90-day jail term pending an appeal. Anthony Paglione, 61, was convicted for misappropriating money from Vincent Gagliano through a complicated series of loan swaps between two Pueblo homes.
On Monday, Paglione was granted a stay in his jail sentence to allow 49 days for his lawyer to file an appeal.
Paglione apologized to Gagliano’s family members who were in the courtroom Monday saying there was a time the two families were friends and now that is lost.
“I can understand that, and I ask if there is any way for the Gaglianos to be friends with the Pagliones excluding me,” Paglione said, looking at the family before being ordered to address the court.
He said he understands the damage done to the family and that he intends with all of his heart to pay restitution.
Paglione said he also has created a division within Pueblo’s Italian community and that he hopes it will be mended.
Paglione said the financial collapse the country has seen is one reason for what has happened.
As Judge David Crockenberg handed down the sentence, he said although it is a serious offense, prison is for people who have a history of criminal violations and that Paglione does not.
A restitution hearing was scheduled for July 26.
Margaret Herdeck, an attorney who formerly practiced in Pueblo, spoke on behalf of Paglione.
“He’s done more for people than this slice of economic tragedy,” Herdeck said. Paglione’s lawyer, Darol C. Biddle, said letters filed with the court describe his client as a caring, selfless person and that economic conditions caused his business to fail. Witnesses for the prosecution were on the other end of the spectrum calling Paglione a financial predator who preys upon unsuspecting victims and commits crimes without remorse.
Some talked about their dealings with Paglione, saying that his schemes have left others in financial ruin.
Gagliano’s son, Vince Gagliano Jr., said what Paglione did was worse than when a person robs someone at gunpoint.
“He picks his victims, he manipulates them and he robs them versus the smash and grab robber. At least that person has the chutzpah to show his face,” Gagliano said.
He said his family has suffered from a great betrayal and his father even had a heart attack because of stress.
Deputy District Attorney Laurel Meyers Byrnes said that after reading 38 letters sent to the judge in the case concerning sentencing, Paglione reminds her of Dr. Jekyll and Mr.
“He has two different personalities. Those he presents to his friends and those he presents to his victims,” Meyers Byrnes said.
©2012 The Pueblo Chieftain (Pueblo, Colo.)
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