Son of Mayor Grabato ready to face ‘fraud’ charges

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Mina, Iloilo Mayor Lydia Grabato said her son is ready to face the charges brought against him in the United States (US) for an alleged Ponzi-like investment scheme.

Grabato, however, said that they have not yet received any official or legal documents, such as a subpoena or an indictment, in relation to the allegations leveled against Rey E. Grabato II.

According to her, their family only found out about it through online news. (

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced charges against New Jersey-based National Realty Investment Advisors LLC (NRIA) and four of its former executives on its website on October 14: Grabato II of Hoboken, New Jersey; Daniel Coley O’Brien of Southampton, New York; Thomas Nicholas Salzano of Secaucus, New Jersey; and Arthur Scutaro of Bloomfield, New Jersey.

They allegedly ran a Ponzi-style scheme that raised approximately $600 million from about 2,000 investors.

According to the US SEC, NRIA and its executives began raising funds in 2018 by promising investors that their money would be used to buy and develop real estate properties, which would generate profits through a fund set up by NRIA to invest in the projects.

Separate charges were also filed against Salzano and Grabato II by the US Attorney’s Office District of New Jersey, specifically an 18-count indictment unsealed on October 12, 2022 for alleged conspiracy to commit securities fraud, securities fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, and conspiracy to defraud the US.