04/20/2015 18:03 EDT | Updated 06/20/2015 01:12 EDT

Alberta Ponzi fraudster sentenced to five years, must pay restitution

LETHBRIDGE, Alta. - A southern Alberta man has been sentenced to five years in prison for defrauding investors out of $1.3 million dollars.Anthony Pittarelli, who is 46, was sentenced in Court of Queen's Bench in Lethbridge for his part in what the judge called a significant Ponzi scheme.Pittarelli and his mother Marissa pleaded guilty in December to seven counts of fraud.Marissa Pittarelli, who is 66, was given a conditional sentence of house arrest and both mother and son must pay restitution.The charges related to a scheme where people were invited to invest in an entertainment event ticket reselling business that did not exist.Some cash was used to repay earlier investors, while the rest went into the Pittarellis' pockets. (CJOC)