Former Cordova insurance salesman and Corvette Club member Joseph Caronna plead guilty in federal court on Tuesday to four counts of mail fraud, insurance fraud, embezzlement, and money laundering, U.S. Attorney Edward L. Stanton III said.
The 48-year-old actually plead guilty to one count of mail fraud, two counts of insurance fraud and embezzlement, and one count of money laundering.
As outlined in the indictment, beginning in or about 2001 and continuing up to and including
May 31, 2009, Caronna systematically embezzled money from insurance customers of his
business, Joe Caronna Investments. He had the money diverted to private mail facilities where he obtained mail boxes in the names of his clients. The total loss to the victims was approximately $788,144.53.
MORE: Joe Caronna guilty of killing wife in 2008
It was revealed during his plea hearing that Caronna used the proceeds of his crimes to finance the purchase of a collection of sports cars and vehicles, including a 1971 Chevrolet Chevelle, a 1969 Corvette, a 1983 Porsche 911, a 1985 Porsche 930, a 1980 Chevrolet Corvette, a 2006 Hummer, and a 2002 Honda Blue Shadow motorcycle. He agreed to the forfeiture of those vehicles during the plea hearing.
"Joe Caronna abused his clients' trust and stole from them for his own gratification," said U.S. Attorney Stanton. "Today's guilty plea demonstrates to his victims that he is being held accountable and that justice will be served."
Caronna was found guilty of first degree murder on Nov. 4, 2012 for the October 2008 killing of his wife Tina.
In closing statements in the Tina Caronna murder trial, Shelby County Assistant District Attorney Karen Cook accused Caronna of taking advantage of friendships to feather his own nest at their expense.
"Mr. Black invested money so he could have a college fund for his grandson and he (Caronna) stole the money," Cook said on Nov. 4, 2012. "Mr. Roper, in his retirement age, trying to live the best he can and he (Caronna) stole from an elderly man!"
Prosecutor Thomas Henderson also characterized him as a "Flim Flam Man," in reference to being able to con his wife, his mistresses and his investment clients.
Caronna, who is already serving a life sentence for killing his wife, will be sentenced in federal court on May 28 in front of U.S. District Judge S. Thomas Anderson. He is facing up to 50 years in a federal prison, a fine of up to $1 million, three years supervised release, and a special assessment of $400.