FBI agents raided the Manhattan office of William Parente Wednesday as part of a probe into his investment business, which apparently crumbled just before the tax attorney killed himself and his Garden City family April 19.
About 40 boxes of files and a computer hard drive were removed by FBI agents during a three-hour search of the office at 575 Lexington Ave., said James Margolin, a spokesman for the FBI's Manhattan field office.
A person familiar with the investigation, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the FBI had spoken to at least a dozen investors who had given Parente, 59, about $20 million over the past 20 years. Investors have said Parente used the money to make high-interest commercial bridge loans.
One investor, who spoke on condition of anonymity Wednesday, said Parente had been vague about where the money was being invested.
"No one questioned him, because everyone knew him," the investor said. "I don't understand where the money could have gone."
When investors asked for their money back after the Bernard Madoff scam was revealed in December, Parente at first balked and then later issued checks that bounced just after, police say, he killed his family and himself.
Baltimore County police said Parente beat and asphyxiated his wife, Betty, 58, and two daughters, Catherine 11, and Stephanie, 19, before killing himself with a knife early the next morning.
Betty Parente and her children were buried Tuesday at St. Charles Cemetery in Farmingdale. William Parente's body will be cremated, family members said.
Authorities have not announced a motive for the killings, and federal authorities have yet to determine whether there was financial misconduct.