A Melville man was arrested Tuesday morning and charged with wire fraud involving jewelry sales.
Gregory Altieri, 53, president of LNA Associates, pleaded not guilty at his arraignment after his indictment was unsealed in Brooklyn federal court.
Federal officials said he ran a two-year $200 million Ponzi scheme involving nonexistent wholesale jewelry deals and false promises on returns.
According to the indictment, “beginning in August 2017, Altieri solicited between
$75 million to $85 million from over 80 investors from Queens, Staten Island, Long Island and
elsewhere, allegedly to purchase jewelry at “closeout” prices and resell it at a high profit. Altieri
promised returns of between 30 and 70 percent in a matter of months. While Altieri initially
purchased some jewelry with investors’ money, in approximately May 2018 he began to use new
investors’ money to pay earlier investors, representing to the latter group that they were
receiving returns on their investments. These purported “returns” were used by Altieri to
convince the earlier investors to keep their money with LNA Associates, by “rolling over” their
investments into new investments based on false promises to use this money to purchase
additional jewelry. By January 2020, when Altieri stopped making paybacks to investors, he
owed them approximately $200 million based on the falsely inflated promised returns.”
Seth D. DuCharme, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and William F. Sweeney, Jr., Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office (FBI), announced the arrest and charge.
. If convicted, Altieri faces a maximum sentence of 20 years’ imprisonment.