New York State attorney general's office investigators are probing a complaint from a Queens lawyer who says he invested hundreds of thousands of dollars with William M. Parente and then tried to get his money back in recent weeks, only to have the checks bounce.
Parente promised to pay back nearly $450,000 to Bruce Montague, 47, a Bayside attorney, but Montague said the checks bounced Tuesday - a day after Parente, his wife and two daughters were found dead.
Baltimore County police said Tuesday they didn't know the motive for the deaths.
Over the past six years, Montague said he made investments in about 20 different deals to fund short-term, high-interest loans with Parente. It was a high-risk venture, Montague said, but the quarterly returns were substantial - about 10 to 15 percent.
The Bernard Madoff scandal in December caused Montague to rethink his investment. He told Parente he wanted out.
"I certainly feel foolish that I invested like this, but my feeling foolish is overpowered by my anger and desire to get this out there," Montague said.
Parente, 59, a tax and estate attorney, delayed, Montague said. The money was tied up in international accounts and it took time to make wire transfers, Montague said Parente told him.
Montague said he recently received six checks, worth about $450,000 from Parente. On Thursday, Montague said, Parente told him he could deposit two but to wait with the others. Tuesday, Montague said a bank official told him the four others would not clear.