New York Advisor Charged for Role in Alleged $5M Ponzi Scheme
A Nassau County financial advisor is facing charges of grand larceny and scheme to defraud in connection to an alleged $5 million Ponzi scheme, NBC reports.
Matthew Eckstein allegedly scammed 14 victims, many of them senior citizens who had entrusted their retirement savings to him, according to the TV news channel’s website. The advisor, who in 2015 started his own firm, Sisk Investment Services, allegedly convinced clients to invest into a company called Conmac Funding, but used their money on other business ventures, personal expenses, including a downpayment on a home complete with a tennis court and swimming pool, and paying previous investors, NBC writes.
In one instance, Eckstein allegedly persuaded one client to invest about $385,000 into Conmac, alleging the investment carried no risk and that he would return the principal after two years with a 4% interest, the website writes, citing Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas. When after two years the client requested the return of the money, Eckstein allegedly paid the victim less than $27,000 and told her that the investment had to be returned in installments, according to NBC. Eventually, Eckstein allegedly stopped responding to the client’s communications altogether, the website writes.
Eckstein also allegedly stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from the estates of two deceased clients, according to NBC. If convicted, Eckstein could face up to 15 years in prison, according to the website. His lawyer tells NBC that his client pleaded not guilty. Eckstein is due in court July 2, according to the website.
Eckstein began his financial services career in 1998 at Gould, Ambroson & Associates, Ltd. and worked at the firm until starting Sisk in 2015, according to his BrokerCheck profile.
His record remained clear until last August, when Finra suspended him for failing to respond to its request for information. The suspension was lifted in November, according to BrokerCheck.
In April 2018, Finra filed a complaint against Eckstein, alleging he peddled $1.3 million worth of “investments” in a scheme run by his friend, but failed to do due diligence on the issuer and to disclose that he received $100,000 from his friend, who was CEO of the issuer, Finra says.
Eckstein also has a pending customer dispute from February 2018, in which two customers claim unsuitability, misrepresentation and breach of fiduciary duty, among other charges, requesting $252,500 in damages, according to Eckstein’s BrokerCheck profile.