A barred investment broker from Glen Cove was arraigned on Tuesday on charges that he stole more than $80,000 from people who believed they were investing in DoorDash, Airbnb and Petco, according to the Nassau County district attorney’s office.
Peter Quartararo, 56, was charged with second-degree grand larceny and third-degree grand larceny. Last August, Quartararo met his first victim at a barbecue, claiming he was an investor and financial adviser, according to a news release from the district attorney.
Quartararo told the victim he had access to “pre-IPO” shares of DoorDash and Airbnb at $2 per share and would sell the victim some of his shares, officials said. The victim provided Quartaro with $11,500 in cash, later wiring him an additional $58,000 for what the victim presumed to be pre-IPO shares of Airbnb, according to the news release.
Quartararo also received $14,000 from another victim for “ground floor” stocks of Petco at $1.65 per share, officials said. An investigation by the district attorney’s office showed that Quartararo never purchased any shares of the stocks on behalf of the two victims. Officials said he did not provide any financial statements that showed the victims had shares in Petco, DoorDash or Airbnb.
If convicted he faces a maximum sentence of 15 years, according to the district attorney’s office.
This is the second time Quartararo has been arrested on grand larceny charges relating to stocks this year. In April, he and East Meadow resident Paul Casella allegedly stole $436,000 from investors who also believed they were investing in pre-IPO stock for high-profile tech companies.
According to former Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas, Quartararo met with four investors in April 2019 and told them that he had access to “pre-IPO” or pre-initial public offering stock in the companies Peloton, WeWork and/or Airbnb for approximately $2 a share. Quartararo told them that when the companies later went public, he would sell the shares and give the profits to the victims, less capital gains taxes.
Each victim allegedly gave Quartararo between $72,000 and $200,000 in checks with the understanding that the funds would be used to purchase the pre-IPO shares, according to the district attorney’s office.
In reality, Quartararo had been barred from operating as a stock broker in March 2013 by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, and the SEC later confirmed that no shares of IPO stock in Peloton, WeWork and Airbnb were ever purchased by Quartararo or Casella.
Instead, the victims’ checks were deposited into accounts controlled by Quartararo’s father, Leonard, and Casella. These funds were then allegedly used by the men to purchase food, travel and vehicles, including a 2020 Mercedes-Benz SUV and the down payment on Quartararo’s Maserati automobile. Several large cash withdrawals were also made by Quartararo’s father.
Quartararo was charged with five counts of second-degree grand larceny, one count of third-degree grand larceny, one count of fourth-degree conspiracy, and one count of first-degree scheme to defraud.
“This defendant has now been arrested twice this year for allegedly defrauding multiple victims with the same empty elevator pitch, stealing more than $500,000 in total from his victims and never delivering on his promises,” acting Nassau County District Attorney Joyce A. Smith said in a statement. “This case further highlights the need for investors to diligently review the credentials and licenses of the financial professionals they work with to ensure they are credible and operating with integrity.”
Officials said both cases against Quartararo are being prosecuted by Senior Investigative Counsel Richard Sikes of the Financial Crimes Bureau. Quartararo, who is due back in court on Oct. 20, is being represented by attorney Gerard Donnelly.
Efforts to reach Donnelly for comment were unavailing.