It’s one of the five Mafia families and, in my hometown, a pretty good pizza place. But if you’re 25 or older and grew up in the greater New York area, the name “Genovese” is perhaps best known for the drug store chain that disappeared for good in 2003, five years after JCPenney bought it and eight years before Bill Ackman destroyed JCPenney.
Nicholas Genovese knows what we’re talking about, and he also knows that he shares a name with the family that founded the pharmacy. And he also knows that, while he’s not actually a member of said family, pretending that he’s the grandson of founder Joseph Genovese would make people more likely to invest in a hedge fund he allegedly made up than his actual biography, what with the grand larceny and forgery convictions that make him sound more like a low-level member of the other Genovese family. And it (allegedly) worked, because what were people gonna do? Their due diligence at the local library scouring microfilms of late ‘90s editions of Newsday for his name?
The SEC stated that Genovese raised more than $5.3 million from investors since at least 2014. Among his many alleged fabrications, Genovese also told investors he managed the $4 billion Genovese Drug Store family’s assets, and that he was grandson of the chain’s founder. Investors were told his fund’s investment adviser had as much as $39 billion in assets under management. In reality, that number was closer to $10 million.
Many alleged fabrications, you say? Why, what else was on his (allegedly) fake CV?
Prosecutors said in the criminal complaint that Genovese falsely claimed to have a master’s degree in business administration from Dartmouth College and to have worked at Goldman Sachs and Bear Stearns….
Authorities said Genovese used investor funds to trade in his personal brokerage account, losing more than $8 million between 2015 and 2017. The SEC said $263,000 of the money went to fund Genovese’s lifestyle, including being chauffeured in a Bentley.
But of course! Would the scion of a great and little-remembered drug store fortune be caught dead in a beat-up old Honda Odyssey? We think not.