Feds: Dix Hills Man Claimed Shinnecock Indian Tribe Tobacco Investments As Part Of Ponzi Scheme

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A Dix Hills man has been arrested after authorities say he ran a ponzi scheme promising investors financial returns on investments made in wholesale cigarette purchases on behalf of the Shinnecock Indian Nation, among other charges.

Robert Rocco, the president of the Dix Hills Soccer Club, was arrested on Tuesday morning and was scheduled to appear in federal court in Central Islip later that same day. He has been charged with wire and mail fraud stemming from a 14-count indictment released on Tuesday.

According to the indictment, Mr. Rocco solicited Dix Hills Soccer Club members, volunteers, friends, and neighbors to invest in a series of businesses, including Limestone Capital Services, Advent Merchant Services, LLC, and Advent Equity Partners, LLC, promising high rates of return for investments. The indictment alleges that Mr. Rocco promised financial returns of up to 18 percent of their investment annually through investments including providing loans to finance wholesale cigarette purchases on behalf of the Shinnecock Nation tobacco shop and a credit card processing business.

The indictment also states that Mr. Rocco solicited approximately $5 million for investors between 2006 and 2013, none of which was invested as promised.

Mr. Rocco will be arraigned before the Honorable Leonard D. Wexler in the federal courthouse in Central Islip on Tuesday.

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