By Jeremy Walsh
The chief executive of a Long Island City printing company admitted last week to defrauding two investors of $145,000, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said.
Staten Island resident Peter Saad, 62, pleaded guilty to grand larceny Nov. 18 and agreed to repay the money he took, Brown said. In return for the plea, Saad will likely receive five years’ probation at his sentencing Jan. 19, the DA said.
“Instead of making what they believed was a sound investment for the future in a growing Long Island City company, the two victims found themselves having been misled by the defendant into investing their hard-earned cash in a business built on a sandpile of lies,” Brown said in a statement. “Fortunately, they will be made fiscally whole and the defendant, who betrayed their trust and friendship, must now face the consequences of his criminal actions.”
Beginning in April 2004, Saad told an acquaintance, Joseph Shammas, about a printing business he was operating called Project 912 at 42-26 13th St., and made several false statements to him in order to induce him to invest, the DA said.
Saad told Shammas that he had millions of dollars in London that would eventually be liquidated and available to insure the investment. Saad also claimed he could easily get a lucrative job on Wall Street if necessary.
He said the cash infusion would be used to purchase a printing machine that would increase the company’s capacity, leading Shammas to invest $150,000 and an acquaintance, Charles Chiarelli, to invest $100,000. Saad told the two men the investments were guaranteed.
But within a year of the transaction, Project 912 was no longer solvent and, believing they were misled, Shammas and Chiarelli asked for their money back.
Saad eventually admitted he had no money in London, could not get a Wall Street job and did not use their investments for a printing machine. Shammas was eventually able to recoup $75,000 of his investment and Chiarelli was able to get back $30,000.
Reach reporter Jeremy Walsh by e-mail at [email protected] or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 154.