Thursday, March 17, 2011
The former finance manager of a General Motors dealership in Harlan, Ky., and his wife face theft and identity-theft charges in Harlan County Circuit Court this week for allegedly using customer names and personal data to obtain loans for cars he bought and resold for profit, according to the Kentucky State Police.
Paul Anthony Casolari, 42, the former finance manager at Creech Chevrolet-Buick Inc. in Harlan, and his wife, Christy Casolari, 32, both of Cumberland, Ky., have been charged with alleged thefts that took place from 2008 to 2010, police said. Harlan is in southeastern Kentucky about 15 miles from the Virginia border.
Paul Casolari obtained loans and bought cars using personal information from real customers, said Trooper Walt Meachum, a spokesman for the Kentucky State Police.
“He was getting loans using stolen identities,” Meachum said. “He would try to resell them quickly, but if he didn’t get them sold in time, he was making payments on them until he did sell them for profit.”
Christy Casolari took part in the alleged thefts with her husband, but she was not employed by the dealership, Meachum said.
Customers found out cars had been bought in their names when they checked their credit reports, Meachum said. He said police believe the alleged thefts involved “about eight” vehicles, and that multiple charges are linked to each vehicle.
Reached by phone, dealership owner Joe Creech declined to comment.
The Casolaris are scheduled to be arraigned, or formally notified in court of the charges against them, on Thursday, March 17. They were arrested Feb. 21 and freed almost immediately after posting bond, police said.
Paul Casolari faces 106 counts of forgery, plus 12 counts of identity theft, nine other theft-related charges, plus trafficking in stolen identities, according to court records. Christy Casolari faces similar charges, minus the forgery counts, court records show.
A court clerk said court records did not identify any attorneys representing the Casolaris, and the Casolaris could not be reached for comment.
AFI's take on this: It could have been A LOT WORSE. So he was using stolen identities to buy and flip vehicles. That's just the first step toward taking everything and skipping town. Maybe that was the plan anyway and they got caught before they could run.
This is just another example that identity theves will get caught, and if it happens to involve an F&I Manager - throw the book at 'em. We have to trumpet honesty and integrity in the F&I profession.
Yet another reason for F&I Managers to become AFIP Certified. Contact me at: AutoFinanceInsider@yahoo.com for contact information of a dynamic and vivacious agent who will prepare and proctor the AFIP exam for your F&I Managers.
Link to original article: from: LEX18.com (Lexington, KY)
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