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Saturday, 2 January 2021

Long Island jewelry wholesaler, 53, pleads guilty in $200million Ponzi scheme that targeted police and firefighters after blaming his failure to pay investors on the pandemic

 A suburban New York jewelry wholesaler has pleaded guilty to fraud for running a $200 million Ponzi scheme targeting current and retired police officers and firefighters who were promised big profits from the resale of jewelry.

Federal prosecutors said Gregory Altieri, 53, of Melville, New York, pleaded guilty to wire fraud and admitted to securities fraud at a hearing before US District Judge Brian Cogan in Brooklyn.

'Mr. Altieri, like every one of us, should be shown grace and mercy,' his lawyer Edward Sapone said in an email. 'He has accepted full responsibility and has made Herculean efforts to make amends for his misconduct.'

A suburban New York jewelry wholesaler has pleaded guilty to fraud for running a $200 million Ponzi scheme targeting current and retired police officers and firefighters who were promised big profits from the resale of jewelry

A suburban New York jewelry wholesaler has pleaded guilty to fraud for running a $200 million Ponzi scheme targeting current and retired police officers and firefighters who were promised big profits from the resale of jewelry

Altieri's company, LNA Associates Ltd, is listed at this Long Island address. According to a LexisNexis search, Altieri also lives at this home in Melville, New York

Altieri's company, LNA Associates Ltd, is listed at this Long Island address. According to a LexisNexis search, Altieri also lives at this home in Melville, New York

The defendant faces up to 20 years in prison at his scheduled March 31, 2021, sentencing.

Altieri, the president of LNA Associates Ltd, allegedly told investors he would use their money to buy wholesale jewelry at 'closeout' prices and resell it at higher prices, generating 30 to 70 percent profit within a few months.

Prosecutors said Altieri initially bought some jewelry but later used money from new investors to repay earlier investors, who reinvested that money believing he was generating the promised returns.


Altieri allegedly solicited $75 million to $85 million from more than 80 investors in the New York city boroughs of Queens and Staten Island, Nassau and Suffolk counties and elsewhere, starting in August 2017.

Prosecutors said when Altieri stopped making payments in January 2020 he owed about $200 million based on the inflated, promised returns.

Creditors who filed an involuntary bankruptcy case against Altieri in April said he invoked the coronavirus pandemic as an excuse not to pay them, saying 'once the courts open we will ... pay everyone their money.'

The US Securities and Exchange Commission filed related civil charges on Wednesday against Altieri, saying he misappropriated $3.8 million for real estate, vacations, credit card bills, his children's college tuition and other expenses.

Altieri, the president of LNA Associates Ltd, allegedly told investors he would use their money to buy wholesale jewelry at 'closeout' prices and resell it at higher prices, generating 30 to 70 percent profit within a few months

Altieri, the president of LNA Associates Ltd, allegedly told investors he would use their money to buy wholesale jewelry at 'closeout' prices and resell it at higher prices, generating 30 to 70 percent profit within a few months

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