Capital District Man Pleads Guilty To Defrauding Investors Out Of Over $1,000,000

NEW YORK, NY (January 18, 2007)—Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that a Capital District businessman pled guilty to two counts of an indictment charging him with a scheme involving the sale of non-existent stock and stock options. The phony investments were in companies purporting to distribute gourmet frozen foods.

Peter W. Perun, 49, pled guilty yesterday to one count of Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, a class D felony, for stealing more than $3,000 from Lori Sendra in July 2002. Perun also pled guilty to one count of Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, a class E felony. As part of his scheme, Perun took more than $1,000,000 from over 80 investors. He did this by making misrepresentations about gourmet frozen food companies he allegedly owned. On June 9, 2006, his wife, Tara Perun, pled guilty to Attempted Grand Larceny in the Second Degree and Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree for her part in the scheme.

Between December 1999 and August 2005, Perun made misrepresentations to investors about Modern Day Gourmet and Harvest Holdings, Inc., two businesses which he said were engaged in the distribution of gourmet frozen foods. Investors were lied to about the investment opportunities in, and the financial conditions of, the two businesses.

Yesterday’s plea was entered in Schenectady County Court before the Honorable Polly A. Hoye. The defendant was represented by attorney Mark Sacco of Schenectady.

Judge Hoye remanded the defendant to jail pending sentencing, which is to take place on February 27, 2007. On October 24, 2006, Tara Perun was sentenced to six months in jail and five years probation by Judge Karen A. Drago. At the time of sentencing, Judge Hoye will order Perun to pay $1,048,800 in restitution. He also faces up to seven years in jail.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Nancy D. Snyder, of the Criminal Prosecutions Bureau, under the supervision of Deputy Bureau Chief Viola I. Abbitt and Bureau Chief Janet Cohn. They were assisted by Associate Accountant Margaret Kurta of the Investment Protection Bureau. The investigation was conducted by Investigator Leslie Arp of the Investigations Bureau, under the supervision of David Adams, Supervising Investigator.

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