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Posted on: March 9, 2023

Barred Investment Broker Indicted for Alleged $520,000 Stock Fraud Scheme

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Peter Quartararo allegedly defrauded victims who believed they were investing in Peloton, WeWork, Airbnb & Petco

MINEOLA, N. Y. – Nassau County District Attorney Anne T. Donnelly announced that a barred investment broker from Glen Cove was indicted on charges he stole $520,000 from six investors who believed they were investing in pre-initial public offering stock for several high-profile companies. Instead, the defendant allegedly spent those funds on personal luxury items and travel. 

Peter Quartararo, 57, of Glen Cove, was arraigned today before Judge Meryl Berkowitz and charged with five counts of Grand Larceny in the Second Degree (a C felony); one count of Grand Larceny in the Third Degree (a D felony); and one count of Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree (an E felony). If convicted on the top count, the maximum sentence is five to 15 years in prison. Quartararo pleaded not guilty and was released on his own recognizance. He is due back in court on April 3, 2023.  

The case was referred to NCDA by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.

“This defendant allegedly tricked investors into believing they were getting in on the ground floor on high-profile companies that were going public. Instead, investors lost hundreds of thousands of dollars in funds that the defendant allegedly then used on luxury purchases, including a sports car,” said DA Donnelly. “Investing in the stock market always comes with risk, but investors should never have to worry that the financial professionals they are trusting with their money will steal from them.”

DA Donnelly said beginning in July 2018 and continuing through January of 2021, Peter 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 $2.00 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 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 the defendant 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. 

These funds were then allegedly used by the defendant to purchase food, travel, and vehicles, including a 2020 Mercedes Benz SUV, and used as the down payment on Peter Quartararo’s Maserati automobile. Several large cash withdrawals were also made from a bank account of Leonard Quartararo. 

The SEC has confirmed that no shares of IPO stock in Peloton, WeWork, Airbnb or Petco were ever purchased by the defendant.   

Peter Quartararo was previously barred from operating as a stockbroker in March 2013 by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FinRA).

Quartararo was arrested by NCDA Detective Investigators in April 2021 and re-arrested in August 2021 on additional charges.

Co-defendant Paul Casella, 56, of East Meadow, pleaded guilty to Criminal Facilitation in the Fourth Degree on December 14, 2022, and was sentenced to a Conditional Discharge.

Co-defendant Leonard Quartararo, 80, of Staten Island, pleaded guilty to Criminal Facilitation in the Fourth Degree on July 22, 2021, and was sentenced to a Conditional Discharge.

The case is being prosecuted by Senior Investigative Counsel Heidi Bausk of the Financial Crimes Bureau. The NCDA Civil Forfeiture Bureau has assisted in identifying any available assets. Quartararo is being represented by Gerard Donnelly, Esq. 

The Nassau County District Attorney wishes to thank the United States Securities and Exchange Commission for bringing this case to our attention. 

If you believe you were the victim of an investment fraud perpetrated by Peter Quartararo, Paul Casella, or Leonard Quartararo, contact the Nassau County DA’s Office Financial Crimes Bureau at 516-571-2149.

The charges are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless found guilty.


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