A New York man has been indicted for scamming investors out of more than $700,000, authorities announced.
Long Island resident Matthew Gallagher, age 37, of Rocky Point, used various investment schemes to scam 24 victims over a period of about four years, according to an investigation by Suffolk County Police and Suffolk County District Attorney Timothy D. Sini.
“We have 24 people here who gave their savings to this defendant with the promise of sound investments only to be lied to and swindled out of their hard-earned money,” Sini said. “He was allegedly selling them on investing in business ventures that did not exist and using their money to fund his own vacations and other expenses.
"It’s inexcusable. I want to thank the victims who came forward and reported this scheme to law enforcement, as well as the detectives and prosecutor for ensuring that he is held accountable.”
According to the district attorney's complaint, between 2017 and 2021, Gallagher told his victims that he would invest their money in several start-up business ventures and promising a high rate of return on the investments.
The purported investment opportunities include:
- A legal marijuana farm in California;
- A hard seltzer company based in the Hamptons;
- An audio-visual company that was being liquidated;
- An insurance agency that Gallagher claimed he was going to open;
- A company he claimed to own called National Comp Advisors, a consulting business for insurance agents.
Instead of investing the victims’ money, Gallagher allegedly used it for personal expenses and to pay back other victims, misrepresenting that the funds were returns on their investments, according to the DA.
Gallagher also allegedly used one of his victims’ credit cards to book airfare and lodging in Orlando, Florida, for a trip to Disney World for himself and his family.
Gallagher was arrested on Nov. 27, 2019, and charged in connection with the alleged scheme with respect to three separate victims.
Further investigation by the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office and Suffolk County Police Department’s Seventh Precinct Squad resulted in the identification of approximately 21 additional victims.
Gallagher has been charged with:
- Five counts of second-degree grand larceny, a Class C felony;
- 13 counts of third-degree grand larceny, a Class D felony;
- Three counts of first-degree identity theft, a Class D felony;
- Two counts of third-degree attempted grand larceny, a Class E felony;
- Two counts of first-degree scheme to defraud, a Class E felony;
- Petit larceny, a Class A misdemeanor;
- Seven counts of Issuing a bad check, a class B misdemeanor.
If convicted of the top count, Gallagher faces a maximum sentence of five to 15 years in prison.
Gallagher was arraigned on the indictment Thursday, June 10 in Suffolk County Supreme Court and was released on supervised release with GPS monitoring.
An 11 p.m. curfew was also ordered for Gallagher, and he is prohibited from traveling outside of New York State.
Gallagher is due back in court on Tuesday, July 13.
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