NY Post...Eighteen people were indicted today for their alleged roles in two auto loan fraud schemes that resulted in nearly $2 million in losses, authorities said. Sixteen people have been arraigned in Queens Supreme Court on charges that include grand larceny and possession of stolen property, while two others remain at-large.
Twelve of the accused scammers allegedly purchased luxury cars, such as Cadillac Escalades, BMWs and Porsches, between July 2008 and March 2010, officials said. The defendants then used "straw borrowers" -- people with good credit to front for them -- to take out $1.9 million in loans in exchange for a $2,000 kickback.
Authorities said once the vehicles were turned over to the crooks, the cars were then allegedly sold or rented out on the black market. The cars were then later sold to dealers at auction, leaving the people with good credit stuck with the bill.
Queens DA Richard Brown called the scam "highly complex and sophisticated." Suspects would stop making payments after three installments and then rent or sell these high-end vehicles, often to other criminals ... leaving the straw purchasers holding the bag."
UPDATE...Andre Dickenson charged with killing con artists at ex-Jets player's condo was also ringleader of Queens car-loan scam. One of those illegally purchased luxury rides — a 2008 Porsche SUV — was used in the cold-blooded killing of two Nigerian con men gunned down at the Woodbury, LI, condo of Vilma, the former Jet linebacker, Kelly said.
Ansu Keita was killed there. His sidekick, Sekou Sackor, was shot there and finished off in a scene right out of “GoodFellas,” Kelly said. “The victim was still alive when they popped open the hatch of the Porsche,” Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said. “
NY Post..., July 15, 2007, 'CAR-SCAM' LINK EYED, Detectives are investigating possible links between the men accused of gunning down two Brooklyn cops and an alleged million-dollar scam at a Long Island auto dealership.
While probing the (unsolved) murder of car salesman Collin Thomas outside the showroom of Universal Auto World in Lawrence, L.I., in January, cops unraveled what they said was a massive scam at the dealership.
Employees at Universal allegedly stole and bought identities, then used the IDs to obtain at least $1.3 million in financing for fancy cars, court records show. The luxury models, including Maseratis and Aston Martins, were allegedly sold or transferred under the table to individuals who didn't want cars in their real names.
Nassau County Police Lt. Kevin Smith said his department and city cops were investigating if accused cop shooters Dexter Bostic and Robert Ellis knew Collin Thomas and were part of the scam.
Bostic worked as a car salesman at Five Towns Mitsubishi, just up the road from Universal Auto World on Burnside Avenue in Inwood. Ellis, who lived with Bostic, also may have once worked at Five Towns.
As part of the homicide probe, Nassau County police raided the dealership, owned by auto czar Michael Oshry, and Oshry's Hewlett Harbor home (Pamela Oshry Geller) and seized business records.
Cops found banking records were sent to the Oshry house, though the state requires such files be kept at businesses, according to court papers filed in a civil forfeiture action by the Nassau district attorney. "The dealership knew what was going on," an investigator said.
His ex-wife, Pamela Geller, former associate publisher of the New York Observer and a conservative blogger, burst into tears when told her ex is under criminal investigation. Although listed in business records as a Universal Auto World co-owner, Pamela Geller denied it. "I have nothing to do with this," Pamela Geller said. Geller was also co-owner of the Hewlett Harbor home when cops raided it.
Bill Warner Sarasota Private Investigator, SEX, CRIME, CHEATERS & TERRORISM at www.wbipi.com