Law & Justice

General Manager of Used Car Dealership Sentenced to 10 Years for Role in $1.4 Million Auto Loan Scam

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TRENTON – Attorney General Christopher S. Porrino and the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor (OIFP) announced today that the manager of a now-defunct Bergen County used car dealership was sentenced to 10 years in prison for his role as “point man” in a bank financing scam that netted $1.4 million in fraudulent loans for luxury cars.

Hector Marquez, the general manager of D.I.B Leasing in Teterboro, was also ordered to pay $110,370 in restitution under the sentence handed down yesterday by Superior Court Judge Susan Steele in Bergen County. Marquez, 44, of Monroe, pleaded guilty in July to first-degree money laundering and second-degree misconduct by a corporate official in the dealership case. He also pleaded guilty to second-degree insurance fraud in a separate indictment involving a $139,000 Bentley purchased at his dealership and later torched and reported stolen to an insurance company. He was sentenced today to 10 years in prison for that case and will serve both sentences concurrently.

Last week, the dealership’s finance manager, Paul Russo, 52, of Scotch Plains, was sentenced to six years in prison and ordered to pay $150,267 in restitution by Superior Court Judge Steele. In July 2015, Russo pleaded guilty to second-degree money laundering and second-degree misconduct by a corporate official in the dealership case.

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“Marquez played a pivotal role in this criminal case which mixed sophisticated financial fraud and old-fashioned greed,” said Attorney General Porrino. “This lengthy prison sentence closes the book on this criminal conspiracy and sends a message that we will not tolerate anyone using fraud to exploit the insurance or banking industries.”

“Hector Marquez and Paul Russo abused their positions of authority at the car dealership to fraudulently obtain auto loans for customers whose income levels did not qualify them for financing on the luxury vehicles,” said Acting Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Christopher Iu. “They also abused the trust of other customers by fraudulently using their personal information to obtain car loans without their knowledge. Their prison time is well deserved.”

Marquez and Russo are the last two defendants to be sentenced in the D.I.B. Leasing scheme that also involved the dealership’s owner, title manager, loan applicant assistant, and bookkeeper.

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 allege. 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, prosecutors alleged.
The loan money obtained from the banks was used for personal benefit by the various employees of the dealership, prosecutors said.

  • Patsy Galasso, 76, of Cliffside Park, owner of D.I.B. Leasing pleaded guilty to third degree money laundering and was sentenced to five years of probation.
  • Jennifer Perez, 31, of Union City, who assisted with loan applications was admitted into Pre-Trial Intervention program in August 2016.
  •  Michael Ricciardi, 54, of Wayne, who did bookkeeping for the dealership pleaded guilty to third degree trafficking in personal identifying information and was sentenced to four years of probation in December 2016.
  • Lisa Ghobrial, 49, of Ridgefield, the dealership’s title manager, pleaded guilty to third-degree misconduct by a corporate official and was sentenced to three years of probation.

Ricciardi was also charged in the separate indictment involving the scheme to falsify the insurance claim on the used Bentley, which was purchased at D.I.B. Leasing and then fraudulently reported stolen to an insurance company after it was torched. He pleaded guilty to third-degree conspiracy and was sentenced to four years of probation in December 2016.

Also charged in that Bentley scheme were D.I.B. salesman John Jarzabek, and his parents Chester and Anna Jarzabek. The younger Jarzabek and his parents were accused of falsifying a car loan application and providing bogus documents to inflate the elder Jarzabeks’ income to obtain financing for the luxury vehicle. The trio was also accused of fraud in the insurance claim reporting the car stolen.

  • John Jarzabek, 27, of Harrison, pleaded guilty to second-degree insurance fraud and was sentenced to four years in prison in January 2017.
  • Chester Jarzabek, 64, of Harrison, was admitted into the Pre-Trial Intervention program in September 2016.
  • Anna Jarzabek, 62, of Harrison was admitted into the Pre-Trial Intervention program in January 2017 and ordered to pay $44,511.94 in restitution to TD Auto Finance.

Deputy Attorney General Colin Keiffer represented the state at the sentencing.

Shelley D. Albert, Esq. represented Marquez at sentencing.

Kevin G. Roe, Esq. represented Russo at sentencing.

Detective Sergeant 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. Attorney General Porrino thanks Bergen County Prosecutors’ Office, National Insurance Crime Bureau, and Plymouth Rock Assurance for their assistance in the investigation.

Acting Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Iu noted that some important cases have started with anonymous tips. People who are concerned about insurance cheating and have information about a fraud can report it anonymously by calling the toll-free hotline at 1-877-55-FRAUD, or visiting the Web site at www.NJInsurancefraud.org. State regulations permit a reward to be paid to an eligible person who provides information that leads to an arrest, prosecution and conviction for insurance fraud.

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