State charges Walton man with Ponzi scheme

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New York Attorney General Letitia James announced the arrest of a Walton man in connection with an alleged million-dollar Ponzi scheme.

Carl R. Carro, 59, of Walton, was charged with two counts of second-degree money laundering, 19 counts of third-degree grand larceny, 20 counts of securities fraud and one count of first-degree scheming to defraud.

Also named in the 42-count felony complaint filed in Walton Town Court was Westchester County resident James W. Doyle, 72, Carro’s partner in managing headhunting companies Endeavor Management Solutions, LLC and Endeavor Consultancy, LLC.

“When New Yorkers put their hard-earned savings into an investment, they expect their money to work for them, but the greed of the operators of these corporations never gave victims a chance to make a profit,” James said in a statement. “After nearly a decade, the Ponzi scheme perpetrated by Carl Carro and James Doyle fell like a house of cards, robbing most victims of thousands of dollars. Today, we’re holding these two men accountable for cheating investors and using investment funds to enrich and dig themselves out of a hole. My office will continue to use every resource at its disposal to hold accountable anyone who tries to cheat innocent New Yorkers out of their hard-earned savings.”

According to the felony complaint, between at least January 2012 and December 2020, Carro and Doyle solicited investments in their companies from more than 50 victims from New York and other states, amounting to between $15,000 and $30,000 from each individual.

Carro and Doyle allegedly misrepresented to investors that Endeavor was a headhunting firm hired by prestigious clients to find candidates for openings on their boards of directors. The pair is charged with luring investors with false promises of interviews for board positions, then offering purported no-risk investment opportunities in their firm. They allegedly promised their victims that investments would be held in an untouched cash reserve fund that purportedly held over $1 million and guaranteed a 10 to 20% return on investment after 30 days, according to a media release.

Instead of holding the investments in a cash reserve fund, Carro and Doyle deposited investor monies into accounts at multiple financial institutions, none of which ever had a balance of more than $200,000, according to the release.

The felony complaint further charges that the proceeds were laundered in a “Ponzi-like manner” to make repayments to previously defrauded investors without revealing that the actual source of the repayments was funds from newly defrauded investors. While the defendants repaid some investors a very small percentage of their investment, most investors received no repayment at all.

According to an audit by James’ office, Carro and Doyle spent nearly $500,000 on cash withdrawals, more than $200,000 to pay credit card bills, squandered more than $57,000 on pet expenses and exhausted more than $350,000 to pay previously defrauded investors, including over $170,000 in restitution to victims in Carro’s prior criminal cases.

The Daily Star reported in 2011 that Carro, then 50, pleaded guilty to first-degree scheming to defraud in connection with a 2009 investment scheme that involved several people in Walton and Sidney.

Carro was arrested again in 2015 and charged with second-degree grand larceny in a sealed indictment following a September 2014 investigation that found he received more than $95,000 from a complainant with the fraudulent intent of using the money in an investment.

To further their nearly decade-long scheme, Carro and Doyle allegedly engaged in a pattern of excuses and delay tactics regarding their inability to repay investors, including telling investors that the bank would not release their funds when the funds were already depleted; alleging that repayment checks were in the mail, only for investors to receive empty envelopes; and creating a fictitious attorney to act as in-house-counsel for Endeavor during disputes with investors over the return of their investments, according to the release.

Carro and Doyle were arraigned Thursday before Judge Jacqueline Lamport. Carro was remanded and Doyle was released on his own recognizance.

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