CAMDEN, N.J. – A North Plainfield man and his brother were sentenced today for their role in a sophisticated luxury stolen car ring. The two men were each sentenced to more than 16 years in prison for their roles in a large-scale conspiracy to ship stolen luxury cars to Hong Kong and elsewhere, said U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman.
Llewellyn Clarke, 42 of North Plainfield, and Andrew Clarke, 43 of Irvington were sentenced to 300 and 195 months in prison, respectively. They were convicted following an earlier three-week trial before U.S. District Judge Robert B. Kugler, who imposed the sentences today in Camden federal court.
According to documents filed in in this case and evidence presented at trial:
The stolen car exportation ring was investigated by a multi-agency task force led by
Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). The investigation revealed that the Clarkes were purchasing stolen luxury cars from thieves operating in northern New Jersey and New York. At the trial it was revealed that the Clarke brothers recruited other conspirators to “re-tag” those cars, or have fraudulent vehicle identification numbers placed on the cars to mask the fact that they were stolen, and then had false title documents produced for those cars in New Jersey and Georgia.
After the fake documents were created, the Clarkes shipped several of those stolen cars, valued between $1.9 and $2.1 million, from New Jersey to Hong Kong, while other cars were shipped to Georgia, Maryland and elsewhere. Once overseas or out-of-state, the stolen cars were then resold, some to unsuspecting buyers who later learned that their vehicles were in fact stolen.
In addition to the prison terms, Judge Kugler sentenced both defendants to three years of supervised release.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of ICE HSI, under the leadership of
Executive Associate Director Peter Edge and Acting Special Agent in Charge Terence S. Opiola, and the N.J. State Police, under the direction of Superintendent Col. Rick Fuentes, for the investigation leading to today’s sentences. Fishman also thanked U.S. Customs and Border Protection; the Waterfront Commission of New York Harbor; Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn Murray, Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey, Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez, and Union County Acting Prosecutor Grace H. Park, the Essex and Hudson County Sheriff’s Departments, the Newark Police Department, the U.S. Coast Guard Investigative Service, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission, the Georgia Department of Revenue, and the Maryland State Police.