Winthrop insurance agent Joseph Gennaco sentenced to eight years in prison for ‘life settlement’ scheme

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A 68-year-old Winthrop man was sentenced to more than eight years in prison for conducting a decade-long insurance scheme that federal prosecutors say defrauded 40 people of $7 million.

Joseph Gennaco, who also lived in Jupiter, Fla., had pled guilty in February to 27 counts of mail and wire fraud. On Tuesday, a federal judge in Boston gave Gennaco the maximum sentence under the plea arrangement, plus three years of supervised release. Gennaco also was ordered to repay the $7 million to his victims — but his lawyer says he is penniless.

Bernard Grossberg, the attorney representing Gennaco, said his client expressed remorse at his sentencing hearing Tuesday. “He said the victims were good people. Most of them had been his friends,’’ Grossberg said.

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