Oceanside man sentenced for using Ponzi scheme to fund gambling habit

Sentence: More than three years behind bars, $3.3M in restitution


John Quadrino was sentenced to more than three years in prison and shell out more than $3.3 million after admitting in court he devised a Ponzi scheme to help maintain his gambling habit.

The sentence was handed down by District Judge Joan Azrack on May 25, as part of a case that accused the 57-year-old Oceanside man of funneling money through companies called Princess Cut Industries, Sassy Jewelry Buyers and Golden Glitter Trading — a group collectively referred to as the “gold purchasing companies” by prosecutors. 

Quadrino told investors if they put money in, he would buy gold, jewelry and diamonds. In reality, Quadrino never invested any money, and instead used it to issue checks to himself and to pay for his personal gambling expenses. 

He pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to commit wire fraud in April 2018

Quadrino asked investors for large sums of money in exchange for a guaranteed, fixed rate of return. However, Quadrino never actually purchased gold, jewelry or diamonds in any significant quantities.

Instead, he methodically engaged in what the FBI called 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 Quadrino, and suffered losses of about $3.3 million.

“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 U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Breon Peace, in a release. “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," Nassau County District Attorney Anne Donnelly said, in a release. "In the end, he personally spent and gambled away millions of dollars of their hard-earned money."