TETERBORO, N.J. -- The manager of a defunct Teterboro used car dealership on Tuesday joined two co-workers who'd admitted their roles in a $1.4 million luxury car scam.
Hector Marquez, the general manager of D.I.B Leasing in Teterboro, pleaded guilty in Superior Court in Hackensack to money laundering and corporate misconduct.
Marquez, 43, of Monroe, NY also pleaded guilty to insurance fraud in a separate indictment involving a $139,000 Bentley sold at his dealership and later torched and reported stolen for insurance purposes.
The dealership’s finance manager, Paul Russo, 40, of Scotch Plains, pleaded guilty to similar charges, Acting Attorney General Christopher S. Porrino said.
The title manager, Lisa Ghobrial, 48, of Ridgefield, recently pleaded guilty to corporate misconduct, Porrino said.
“Hector Marquez was the point man in a criminal conspiracy in which banks were duped into approving auto loans for customers whose income levels did not qualify them for financing on the luxury vehicles,” Porrino said. “He then furthered his criminal involvement by helping one of his buyers to unload a pricey vehicle by committing insurance fraud.
"The lengthy prison time he faces should serve as a deterrent to anyone who thinks this kind of fraud is a path to easy money.”
Marquez, Russo and Ghobrial joined the dealership owner, 75-year-old Patsy Galasso of Cliffside Park, bookeepr Michael Ricciardi, 53, of Wayne and Jennifer Perez, 30, of Union City, a loan applicant assistant, in connection with the scheme, Porrino said.
Prosecutors said the defendants created fake employment records, inflated incomes, and supplied false pay stubs and fictitious employee verifications to dupe banks into approving auto financing for customers whose income levels did not qualify them for loans on the pricey vehicles.
Four of the loans were taken out in the names of customers who had submitted personal information to apply for financing but ultimately did not buy cars from the dealership, prosecutors said. The fifth loan was in the name of a person who
had never been to D.I.B. Leasing or applied for a car loan there, they alleged.
The employees split the proceeds, prosecutors charged.
The remaining defendants have all been indicted on charges of conspiracy and money laundering, along with trafficking in personal identifying information pertaining to another person.
Galasso and Ricciardi are also charged with identity theft, 62 counts of theft by deception and corporate misconduct.
Deputy Attorney General Colin Keiffer is prosecuting the group.
Detective Sgt. Jarek Pyrzanowski and Detectives Kahlil McGrady, Ryan Kirsh, Kristi Procaccino, and Megan Flanagan coordinated the investigation with assistance from analysts Chris Runkle, Terry Drumm, Gregory Nolan, and Theresa Worthington, along with the Electronic Surveillance Unit of the Division of Criminal Justice and Investigator Daniel Buchanan and analyst Sam Paden of the NJ Motor Vehicle Commission, Porrino said.
The attorney general thanked the Bergen County Prosecutor's Office, National Insurance Crime Bureau, and Plymouth Rock Assurance for their assistance in the investigation.
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