Nassau District Attorney Anne Donnelly.

Nassau District Attorney Anne Donnelly. Credit: Johnny Milano

A discredited Glen Cove investment broker who swindled family and friends out of half a million dollars, taking their money meant for sweetheart stock prices on Peloton, WeWork and Airbnb then using it to fund his lavish lifestyle, pleaded guilty in Nassau County court on Friday.

Peter Quartararo, 57, admitted one count of a scheme to defraud and five counts of grand larceny, for his role in the plot, which he perpetrated with his father, his business partner and his girlfriend.

Beginning in 2018, in the pre-pandemic days before the billion-dollar “unicorn” companies lost their luster, Quartararo offered the stock before their initial public offering for the discount price of $2 a share, authorities say.

WeWork, for example, first sold publicly for IPO more than $11 a share.

His victims handed over between $14,000 and $202,000 for the marked-down options, but Quartararo, who lost his broker’s license in 2013, pocketed the money.

“Peter Quartararo swindled investors, promising them pre-IPO stock in fast-growing companies that seemed too good to be true,” Nassau District Attorney Anne Donnelly said. “Instead of celebrating financial success, these investors lost hundreds of thousands of dollars to this defendant, who spent their money on food, traveling and a sports car.”

Prosecutors say that Quartararo bought a 2020 Mercedes-Benz SUV and put a down payment on a Maserati.

His business partner, Paul Casella, 56, of East Meadow, who the FBI considers a Bonanno crime family associate, was also charged in the crime. He pleaded guilty in December 2022. His father, Leonard Quartararo, 80, pleaded guilty in July 2021.

At his hearing on Friday, Quartararo, wearing a dark suit, admitted all counts in the case and agreed to try to reimburse his victims fully before his sentencing in July.

All told, prosecutors said that there is still about $250,000 outstanding.

“In the unlikely event that full restitution is paid, the court would consider a non-jail sentence,” Judge John Zoll said during the hearing. “If you can come up with 75% of the restitution, I will give you significantly less jail, but still jail time."

Quartararo declined to comment after the hearing.

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