Glen Cove-Based Boiler-Room Defrauds Investors of Millions
By Rupert Deedes
Robert Lenard Booth, age 67 - known to his colleagues as “Mr. T” - was found guilty of defrauding investors of millions of dollars through a Glen Cove-based "boiler room."
The guilty verdict followed a six-day jury trial in Manhattan Federal Court before U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff. According to prosecutors, Booth ran a boiler room operation which impersonated a legitimate Manhattan-based brokerage firm. Booth sold investors nearly $2 million in securities which they never received.
To deceive investors, Booth and his co-conspirators created fake identities and fake web pages, email addresses, and phone numbers.
On phone calls with investors, Booth and his co-conspirators pretended to be licensed brokers, lied, and used high-pressure tactics to pitch stocks for American companies.
After victims transferred money into Booth’s accounts, the victims received false paperwork which stated alleged stock purchases and trades. The victims were directed to wire money—sometimes hundreds of thousands of dollars—to shell company accounts in New York, Hong Kong, and Singapore. The funds were then laundered and distributed to Booth and his co-conspirators.
The company’s New York bank accounts were controlled from Glen Cove, by Michael D'Urso, Alyssa D'Urso, Jay Garnock, and Antonella Chiaramonte, who were all arrested and charged in February with running the illegal money-laundering operation for Booth's overseas boiler-room.
In all, Booth’s operation laundered about $8 million stolen from over 140 victims.
Booth is now convicted of conspiracy to commit securities fraud, wire fraud, and money laundering. He faces 45 years in prison and a maximum fine of $500,000 or twice the gross gain or gross loss from the offense. In August 2021, Booth was caught and arrested when he flew from Thailand into JFK International Airport.