On Aug. 25, the operator of a New Jersey car dealership and a Motor Vehicle Commission technician pleaded guilty to their involvement in a fraudulent scheme. The 42-year-old dealership operator, and his 30-year-old codefendant, a former employee of the Freehold Motor Vehicle Agency, were found guilty of using fraudulent car titles and damaged vehicles from Super Storm Sandy to take advantage of unsuspecting customers. Charges are pending against others at the dealership as well.
The 42-year-old man was charged with second-degree theft by deception. As a part of his plea bargain, the state will recommend that he only be sentenced to three years in prison. The court will determine how long the operator has to relinquish his license for. He’s also required to pay full restitution to the victims affected by the scheme. He admitted to obtaining eight vehicles from the flood and selling seven of them to customers through the dealership.
The 30-year-old former Motor Vehicle Agency technician pleaded guilty to third-degree charges of tampering with public information or records. She is being required to resign from her job and will be prohibited from working in the public sector in the future. As a condition of a term of the probation, the state will recommend she be remanded to a county jail for up to 364 days.
The judge admonished the notion of a business deceiving customers in attempts to capitalize on the tragedy. An attorney with experience in defending business owners against fraud and other white-collar crimes that originated in a business dispute may be able to assist with a client who has been charged with criminal fraud.
Source: New Jersey Newsroom, “Fraud and a New Jersey Used Car Dealer “, Peter Aseltine, August 25, 2014