A Hudson County couple and their son, an employee at a now-defunct Teterboro used car dealership, falsified a loan application to buy a $139,000 Bentley, then burned the car and reported it stolen to recoup insurance money, the state Attorney General’s Office said Wednesday.
A Wayne man who worked as a bookkeeper for the dealership, D.I.B. Leasing, was charged with conspiracy, accused of helping the couple with the application. The bookkeeper, Michael Ricciardi, 53, also was charged — along with the company’s owner and four former employees — in a separate 10-count indictment for allegedly falsifying applications to dupe banks into approving a total of $1.4 million in auto loans.
NJ Attorney General's Office
Patsy Galasso of Cliffside Park; Lisa Ghobrial of Ridgefield
NJ Attorney Generals Office
Clockwise from top left: Chester Jarzabek, Anna Jarzabek, Hector Marquez and John Jarzabek.ricc
Chester Jarzabek, 63, of Harrison, his wife, Anna, 61, and their son John, 26, were charged with conspiracy, insurance fraud, theft by deception and other offenses. Authorities said that John Jarzabek, who worked as a salesman at D.I.B., and his parents conspired with Hector Marquez, the dealership’s general manager, to fraudulently obtain a loan from TD Bank for just over $112,000 to finance the purchase of a used 2008 Bentley Continental GTC convertible for $139,000.
The four provided fake documents to inflate their income in a bid to obtain the loan, authorities said. Ricciardi, who authorities said was not a D.I.B. employee, is accused of fabricating pay stubs for the Jarzabeks.
A spokesman for the Attorney General’s Office said the Bentley was burned in the Bronx on Aug. 4, 2013, at approximately 1 a.m. John Jarzabek and Hector Marquez reported the car stolen to the Moonachie police the next day according to the indictment. John Jarzabek filed a claim with the Plymouth Insurance Co. later that week, and special investigators for the insurance company met or spoke by phone with Marquez and all three Jarzabeks over the course of the following weeks, the indictment says.
The insurance company notified authorities because the insurance claim looked “suspicious,” according to the Attorney General’s Office spokesman.
“These defendants are accused of pulling out all the stops to line their own pockets,” John J. Hoffman, the acting state attorney general, said in a statement. “It is especially distasteful that the alleged criminal behavior was a family affair. This kind of blatant fraud against banks and insurance companies will be prosecuted vigorously.”
Anna Jarzabek declined to comment when reached by phone on Wednesday and referred questions to her attorney, John Lynch of Union City. Lynch said he had not seen the indictment and could not comment.
In a brief telephone interview, Ricciardi said Wednesday he had “no knowledge” of Jarzabeks. He said that he had not been notified of any indictments, but denied the allegations.
D.I.B.’s owner, Patsy Galasso, 75, of Cliffside Park, was not implicated in the alleged scheme involving the Bentley, but he was accused along with Ricciardi, Marquez and three other former employees of conspiring to fraudulently obtain $1.4 million in car loans.
Authorities said that Galasso, Ricciardi and Marquez worked with the dealership’s title manager, Lisa Ghobrial, 43, of Ridgefield; its finance manager, Paul Russo, 40,of Scotch Plains; and another employee, Jennifer Perez, 30, of Union City, to submit phony pay stubs and other documents to a number of financial institutions between August 2012 and February 2015.
Four of the resulting loans were taken out in the names of D.I.B. customers who had submitted personal information when they applied for financing through the dealership but ultimately did not buy cars there, authorities said. In one case, however, a loan application was submitted in the name of a victim who had never been to D.I.B. or applied for financing there, authorities said.
“None of the victims had any idea car loans were taken out in their name until they began receiving bank notices that they were behind on payment for vehicles they didn’t own,” Christopher Iu, the state’s acting insurance fraud prosecutor, said in a statement. “This was a brazen scheme that defrauded consumers and banks alike.”
Galasso declined to comment when reached by phone on Wednesday. An attorney for him could not be located.
Galasso, Ricciardi, Marquez, Ghobrial, and Perez were indicted on first-degree charges of conspiracy, financial facilitation of a criminal activity and trafficking in personal identifying information pertaining to another person in connection with the fraudulent loans, authorities said. Russo was previously charged with financial facilitation and misconduct by a corporate official in connection with the alleged scheme.
In addition, Galasso, Marquez, Ghobrial and Ricciardi also were charged with second-degree identity theft and 62 counts of theft by deception — two in the second degree and 60 in the third.
The Jarzabeks and Marquez were charged with second-degree conspiracy and insurance fraud, and two counts each of third-degree theft by deception, in connection with the alleged scheme involving the Bentley. Along with Ricciardi, they were indicted on two counts of third-degree theft by deception, authorities said.
Ricciardi also was charged with conspiracy in connection with the alleged scheme.
Marquez and John Jarzabek are in custody; the other defendants will be “issued summonses based on the indictments,” according to the Attorney General’s Office.
Second degree crimes typically carry a sentence of five to 10 years in state prison and a fine of up to $150,000, according to the Attorney General’s office.
A Hudson County man was sentenced to four years in prison in an insurance fraud case, authorities said.
John Jarzabek, 27, of Harrison, was sentenced in Bergen County Superior Court in keeping with the plea agreement reached when he pleaded guilty to second-degree insurance fraud last August, Attorney General Christopher Porrino said in a news release.
Jarzabek and his parents, Chester Jarzabek, 64, and Anna Jarzabek, 62, were accused of conspiracy, insurance fraud, and other offenses for allegedly falsifying a car loan application to buy the used luxury vehicle, Porrino said.
John Jarzabek was also accused of playing a part in a scheme to falsify an insurance claim on the used $139,000 Bentley he purchased with his parents and reported stolen after it was set on fire. By pleading guilty, he admitted to misrepresenting to an insurance company that the car had been stolen when it was not, Porrino said.
Jarzabek and his parents purchased the Bentley from D.I.B. Leasing in Teterboro, a now-defunct dealership where Jarzabek worked, authorities said. A fourth member of the conspiracy, Michael Ricciardi, 53, of Wayne, was a bookkeeper for the dealership. He pleaded guilty to third-degree conspiracy for his part in the loan scheme. He was sentenced to four years of probation last month.
The general manager of the dealership, Hector Marquez, 44, of Monroe, pleaded guilty to second-degree insurance fraud for his part in loan scheme. The state has agreed to recommend a seven-year prison term when he is sentenced on Jan. 20.
In March 2016, authorities said that Jarzabek, who worked as a salesman at D.I.B., and his parents had conspired with Marquez, the dealership’s general manager, to fraudulently obtain a loan from TD Bank for just over $112,000 to finance the purchase of a used 2008 Bentley Continental GTC convertible for $139,000. They then provided fake documents to inflate their income in a bid to obtain the loan, authorities said.
A spokesman for the Attorney General’s Office said that the Bentley was burned in the Bronx on Aug. 4, 2013, at approximately 1 a.m. Jarzabek and Marquez reported the car stolen to the Moonachie police the next day, according to the indictment. Jarzabek filed a claim with the Plymouth Insurance Co. later that week, and special investigators for the insurance company met or spoke by phone with Marquez and all three Jarzabeks over the course of the following weeks, the indictment says.
The insurance company notified authorities because the insurance claim looked “suspicious,” according to the spokesman for the Attorney General’s Office.
Chester Jarzabek was admitted into the Pre-Trial Intervention program in September and charges against Anna Jarzabek are pending.