July 29, 2016
New York Auto Transport Broker Sentenced to 30 Months in Jail
On July 29, 2016, Gregory Sclafani, an automobile transport broker, was sentenced in U.S. District Court, Central Islip, NY, to 30 months’ incarceration followed by 36 months’ supervised release. The court will determine the amount of restitution after a hearing is held.
In March 2016, Sclafani pleaded guilty to mail-fraud charges related to a scheme in which he fraudulently induced unsuspecting customers to use him as a broker for long-distance vehicle hauling but failed to deliver the contracted services. In addition, once in possession of customers' bank account information, he repeatedly made unauthorized withdrawals from their accounts. Sclafani concealed the illicit bank transactions by frequently changing the names of brokerage companies and used aliases when contacting aggrieved customers.
More specifically, Sclafani created checks using customers’ banking information and deposited their money into various accounts he’d created. Sclafani often kept people’s money but failed to ship their vehicles. His scheme victimized more than 100 customers and caused consumer losses of approximately $600,000.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulates brokers that transact the transport of motor vehicles and had previously shutdown Sclafani in 2012. Nevertheless, he continued to operate through 2014.
DOT-OIG is conducting this investigation with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the New York State Police.