Friday, September 19, 2008

NJ car salesman pleads guilty to charges of fraud and identity theft

18 fraudulent loans were detected with a total value of $715,000

Link to source article.

Salvatore Rivello is expected to get five years in jail when sentenced, according to the details of a plea deal. On Sept. 3, he pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree theft by deception, four counts of third-degree identity theft and one count of fourth-degree deceptive business practices, according to police reports.

The dealership, Chrysler of Eatontown was under investigation by the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission when the fraudulent loans were discovered. As a result of the Commission’s investigation the dealership was closed and its license suspended.

Four of the loans in which Rivello was directly involved defrauded PNC Bank by using the identities of others without their knowledge or consent, according to a report published in the Atlanticville newspaper. Overall, four separate financial institutions were defrauded, including PNC Bank, Capital One Bank, Bank of America and North Fork Bank.

The Safeguards Rule imposed by the FTC in 1999 is supposed to require adequate protections for customer information and data so that it cannot be used in schemes like this one. It appears that the Safeguards system was either non-existent or ignored in this dealership.

"Rivello's fraudulent criminal conduct caused substantial pecuniary losses to financial institutions and victimized numerous innocent individuals," Monmouth County Prosecutor Luis A. Valentin said.

"The state prison sentence anticipated by the plea agreement will punish Rivello and, hopefully, deter those who would engage in similar conduct," Valentin added.

November 1st is the compliance deadline for a sequel regulation commonly known as The Red Flags Rule that will require that the dealership be able to identify the telltale indicators that a customer might be using a false identity to arrange for credit and purchase a vehicle.

J.R. Wilson of tells us that this new regulation will include a self-revealing feature. Under the Safeguards Rule it almost always required that an investigator come to the dealership and examine dealership records to detect violations- as in the case mentioned above. Apparently this is not so with The Red Flags Rule.

Wilson expects that cases will be brought to the attention of the authorities by customers whose identities were used to apply for fraudulent loans and purchases. If it can be determined that the dealership was in violation of The Reg Flags Rule, they then could be subject to fines and penalties.

AFI's take on this:

Wow. Each time I read of a court dispensing justice to these criminals, I wonder how many more operators are out there that haven't gotten caught yet. How many other times do you think this guy has committed identity theft outside of the car business?

He probably has a house full of nice furniture, electronics, clothes and toys that other people are already getting collection notices for.

The old rule "you reap what you sow" should hit home to this guy in jail (no further elaboration). There will always be corruption in this world, but one has to wonder, how many more criminals are still out there? One would hope that each prosecuted case should bring this age of corruption closer to an end. Are the large corporate accounting scandals finally over?

I can't even look at my 401k.

Maybe I'll check the balances Jan 1st - after I take a xanax.

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The "Car Guy" Forum said...

This should says it all. Play with the wolves and you will get bitten eventually.

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