A Hicksville man has been arrested for swindling more than $4 million from his friends in a gift card Ponzi scheme, authorities on Long Island said.
Craig Ginsberg told his friends he could get them gift cards to stores like Target, Best Buy and Toys R Us, as well as Visa and American Express gift cards, for 50 cents on the dollar, but they would have to wait three months to get them, prosecutors said.
Ginsberg then bought some gift cards at face value and gave them to his victims, saying he got them for half price, prosecutors said.
As time went on, prosecutors say Ginsberg's scheme got bigger and more expensive and included luxury boxes to sports events and times shares.
Ginsberg's lawyer, Michael Schwed, said his client was running a bartering service and not a Ponzi scheme. The lawyer said Ginsberg will plead not guilty Tuesday to felony larceny and fraud charges.