GARDEN CITY, N.Y (WPIX) -- A real estate attorney from Garden City who brutally killed his wife and two daughters, before committing suicide at a Baltimore hotel on Sunday, may have been running a $20 million Ponzi scheme, according to authorities.
William Parente, 59, was knowingly writing bad checks to an investor who wanted his money back, according to the NY Post. Queens lawyer Bruce Montague had reportedly thought he was putting his $450,000 savings into short-term real estate loans.
The FBI has launched a probe into Parente's investment dealings. The investigation begun after authorities received complaints from numerous investors including Montague.
Authorities say Parente knew he was in trouble when he left his Long Island home last Wednesday with his wife, Betty, and 11-year-old daughter, Catherine, to visit his other daughter, 19-year-old Stephanie at Loyola college in Baltimore.
The family checked into Sheraton Baltimore North in Towson on Wednesday and were last spotted eating breakfast together on Sunday morning.
Parente reportedly executed the killings over a span of several hours Sunday afternoon. Officials said Betty and her two daughters died from blunt force trauma and asphyxiation and Parente took his own life after cutting himself with a knife.
Hotel employees made the shocking discovery Monday after the family failed to check out. Parente was found in the bathroom, while his wife and two daughters were found on the bed.