Congressman George Santos Charged with Fraud, Money Laundering, Theft of Public Funds, and False Statements
Earlier today, at the federal courthouse in Central Islip, John Quadrino was sentenced by United States District Judge Joan M. Azrack to 41 months’ imprisonment and over $3.3 million restitution for directing a Ponzi scheme utilizing Princess Cut Industries, Inc., Sassy Jewelry Buyers, Inc. and Golden Glitter Trading, Inc. (collectively referred to as the “Gold Purchasing Companies”). Quadrino told investors that their money would be invested in the sale of gold, jewelry and diamonds, via the Gold Purchasing Companies. In reality, Quadrino never invested their money. In April 2018, Quadrino pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to commit wire fraud.
Breon Peace, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Michael J. Driscoll, Jr., Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office (FBI), and Anne T. Donnelly, Nassau County District Attorney, announced the sentence.
“The defendant blatantly stole the money of hard-working men and women in our community for the sole purpose of enriching himself until his Ponzi scheme collapsed under the weight of his lies,” stated United States Attorney Peace. “Today’s prison sentence punishes the defendant for the financial ruin he has inflicted on investors who had trusted him.”
“Dozens of investors handed over their savings to this defendant based on empty promises, and in the end, he personally spent and gambled away millions of dollars of their hard-earned money,” stated District Attorney Donnelly. “I commend our law enforcement partners at the FBI and U.S. Attorney’s Office for their work securing today’s prison sentence, and ensuring this defendant cannot further victimize anyone else.”
Quadrino represented to potential investors that the Gold Purchasing Companies were involved in the sale of gold, jewelry and diamonds to refineries and jewelers. He asked investors to invest large sums of money, for fixed periods of time, in exchange for a guaranteed, fixed rate of return at the end of the agreed upon time period. Quadrino never actually purchased gold, jewelry or diamonds in any significant quantities. Instead, Quadrino systematically engaged in a classic Ponzi scheme, over the course of five years, returning investor principal and interest from the investor capital of other victims. As a result, investors invested approximately $13.1 million with the Gold Purchasing Companies and suffered total losses of approximately $3.3 million. The defendant used investor capital to issue checks to himself and to pay for his personal gambling expenses.
The government’s case is being handled by the Office’s Long Island Criminal Division. Assistant United States Attorney Mark E. Misorek is in charge of the investigation with assistance provided by Special Assistant United States Attorney Matthew Sotirhos of the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office.
Oceanside, New York
E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 17-CR-153 (JMA)
Danielle Blustein Hass
United States Attorney’s Office