Long Island resident Peter Quartararo, age 57, of Glen Cove, was arraigned Thursday, March 9 on charges of grand larceny, said Nassau County District Attorney Anne Donnelly.
“This defendant allegedly tricked investors into believing they were getting in on the ground floor of high-profile companies that were going public," Donnelly said.
During the "scheme" which began in July 2018 and continued through January 2021, Quartararo met with six victims and told them that he had access to “pre-IPO” or pre-initial public offering stock in the companies Peloton, WeWork, Airbnb, and Petco for approximately $2 a share, Donnelly said.
Quartararo told them that when the companies later went public, he would sell the shares and give the profits to the victims, less the capital gains taxes, the DA's Office said.
Each victim gave Quartararo between $14,000 and $202,000 in checks and cash with the understanding that the funds would be used to purchase the pre-IPO shares.
Instead, the investigation revealed that he never purchased any shares of stock in the pre-IPO companies represented on the victims’ behalf and instead, the victims’ checks and cash were deposited into accounts controlled by Leonard Quartararo, Peter Quartararo’s father; Paul Casella, Peter Quartararo’s business partner; and another uncharged individual, Donnelly added.
The funds were then allegedly used by Quartararo to purchase food, travel, and vehicles, including a 2020 Mercedes Benz SUV, and used as the down payment on Quartararo’s Maserati automobile. Several large cash withdrawals were also made from a bank account of Leonard Quartararo, the DA said.
The Securities and Exchange Commission has confirmed that no shares of IPO stock in Peloton, WeWork, Airbnb, or Petco were ever purchased by Quartararo, Donnelly said.
Quartararo was previously barred from operating as a stockbroker in March 2013 by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.
He was arrested by Nassau County DA detective investigators in April 2021 and re-arrested in August 2021 on additional charges.
If convicted he faces up to 15 years in prison.
Quartararo pleaded not guilty and was released on his own recognizance. He is due back in court on Monday, April 3.
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