An Oceanside man who federal authorities said ran a Ponzi scam that defrauded investors — including Nassau County residents — out of $6.3 million was arraigned Thursday on wire fraud charges.
The six-count indictment against John Quadrino, 51, alleged that he promised 84 investors profits on their investments in his precious metal businesses, which authorities said he operated out of his home from December 2011 to September 2016.
“However, rather than purchasing gold, jewelry or diamonds, in the quantities promised to the investors, the defendant used a majority of the investment capital to repay other investors and for the defendant’s own personal benefits,” according to the indictment.
Quadrino was charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and five counts of wire fraud. If convicted, Quadrino could face 20 years in prison on each count, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Misorek.
At Quadrino’s bail hearing in U.S. District Court in Central Islip on Thursday, his attorney, Edward Jenks of Mineola, entered a not guilty plea for Quadrino.
Magistrate Arlene Rosario Lindsay set bail at $500,000, which Quadrino’s wife posted using the Oceanside house and a Freeport rental property as collateral. Quadrino, who surrendered his passport, was placed under house arrest and must submit to electronic monitoring of his whereabouts. The judge also temporarily barred Quadrino from operating his businesses from his home.
Quadrino declined to comment Thursday as he and his wife left the courtroom.
Quadrino ran two companies — Princess Cut Industries, Inc. and Golden Glitter Trading, Inc. — from his home on Henry Street. He is one of three partners in Sassy Jewelry Buyer, Inc., based in East Meadow. The companies held themselves out as gold traders that claimed to to buy large amounts of gold, jewelry and diamonds, and sell them to refineries and jewelers.
In all, the companies collected $13.1 million from investors, including four residents of Jericho, Seaford, Westbury and Upper Brookville, according to the indictment. The investments ranged from $40,000 to more than $100,000. The investors were not named in the indictment.
A multiyear investigation was launched after two investors filed complaints with the Nassau County District Attorney’s office, according to a source familiar with the case.
Although the indictment mentioned that “others” took part in the scheme, no one else has been charged in connection with the fraud.