Barred Glen Cove broker gets 7 1/2 years for stock fraud scheme

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Barred Glen Cove broker gets 7 1/2 years for stock fraud scheme
Barred broker Peter Quartararo, 57 of Glen Cove, pled guilty to charges related to a half a million stock fraud scheme in February. (Photo courtesy of the Nassau County District Attorney's Office)

A barred investment broker from Glen Cove was sentenced to up to 7 1/2 years in prison on charges related to a stock fraud scheme involving $520,000 collected from investors who believed they were investing in several high-profile companies including Peloton, WeWork, Airbnb & Petco, according to the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office.

“But if a deal seems too good to be true, it likely is,” District Attorney Anne Donnelly said in a press release. “Having a trusted investment professional is essential if you are planning to wade into the stock market. Taking steps to properly vet investment opportunities and those who are bringing them to you can save you from potential fraud and significant losses.”

Six investors believed they were investing in pre-initial public offering, pre-IPO, stock for these companies, but Peter Quartararo. 57, was using the money for personal luxury items and travel, according to the DA. These items included a 2020 Mercedes Benz SUV and part of the money he put down on his Maserati.

Quartararo pleaded guilty in February to five counts of second-degree grand larceny, one count of third-degree grand larceny and one first-degree count of scheme to defraud.

His sentence delivered on June 14 is for 2 1/2 to 7 1/2 years in prison. Nassau County District Attorney’s Office said they recommended four to 12 years.

Donnelly said in a release that Quartararo has a history of defrauding investors. He had previously been barred from working as a stockbroker in March 2013 by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

The scheme Quartararo was sentenced for started in July 2018 and continued through January 2021, according to the DA.

During those 2 ½ years, Quartararo met with the six victims and proposed to them pre-IPO stock in the high-profile companies for approximately $2 a share. He told them he would sell the shares and give the profits to the victims when the companies went public.

The amount each victim provided to Quartararo ranged from $14,000 to $202,000 in cash and checks to purchase the alleged pre-IPO shares.

The district attorney’s investigation found that Quartararo did not purchase any shares of stock in the pre-IPO companies. Instead, the checks and cash were deposited into accounts controlled by Leonard Quartararo, Peter Quartararo’s father; Paul Casella, Peter Quartararo’s business partner; and an uncharged individual.

The SEC confirmed that no shares of IPO stock in Peloton, WeWork, Airbnb or Petco were ever purchased by the defendant, according to the district attorney’s press release.

Quartararo was arrested by Nassau County district attorney detective investigators in April 2021 and re-arrested in August 2021 on additional charges.

Co-defendant Paul Casella of East Meadow  pleaded guilty to criminal facilitation in the fourth degree on Dec. 14. He was sentenced to a conditional discharge.

Co-defendant Leonard Quartararo, 80, pleaded guilty to criminal facilitation in the fourth degree on July 22, 2021. He was also sentenced to a conditional discharge.

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