By Robert E. Kessler and Gary Dymski
A Seaford man, formerly the chief compliance officer at a Woodbury brokerage firm, conspired to defraud investors of more than $500,000, federal prosecutors said Thursday.
William Michael Quigley, ex-chief compliance officer of Trident Partners, a registered broker-dealer, is charged in a two-count indictment with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and money laundering conspiracy in connection with a fraudulent investment scheme, according to Kelly Currie, acting U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and Diego Rodriguez, head of the FBI’s New York field office.
Quigley, 47, pleaded not guilty at arraignment in federal court in Central Islip before U.S. Magistrate A. Kathleen Tomlinson. Quigley was released on $200,000 bond.
Both Tomlinson’s attorney, federal public defender Randi Chavis, and Eastern District prosecutor Christopher Ott declined to comment after the arraignment.
Robert Rabinowitz, a Trident lawyer, said in a statement: “Once Trident Partners became aware of Mr. Quigley’s suspicious activities, the firm terminated his employment and informed regulatory authorities.” Rabinowitz, of Becker & Poliakoff in Manhattan, said Quigley was Trident’s chief compliance officer from June 2004 to September 2005 and from October 2007 to September 2014.
If convicted, Quigley faces a maximum sentence of 20 years on each count. The indictment says Quigley and his co-conspirators represented to overseas investors that they were brokers at firms registered with the National Association of Securities Dealers or the Financial Institution Regulatory Authority Inc. They told clients they would invest their money in such blue- chip companies and funds as Dell and Berkshire Hathaway, officials said.
In reality, Quigley and unnamed co-conspirators did not invest the funds, prosecutors said. Instead, Quigley opened bank accounts in New York to receive the investors’ funds, and he and his co-conspirators transferred more than $500,000 of the $800,000 investor funds from the accounts to accounts in the Philippines, Ott said.
Quigley immediately withdrew more than $42,000 in cash for his personal use, making dozens of trips to different banks to conceal his cash withdrawals, officials said. At one point, when an overseas victim complained to authorities about the handling of his investment, his complaint was passed on to Quigley as the firm’s compliance officer, who minimized the situation, Ott said in court.