Beachwood Couple, Keansburg Charity Chief Settle State Fraud Charges
Three shore-based defendants accused of using a Matawan charity as a cover to buy and export millions of dollars' worth of luxury cars while skipping the sales tax reach a settlement with the New Jersey Department of Consumer Affairs.
State Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa says the DCA received an initial payment of $25,000 this week from Carl and Denise Monto of Beachwood, along with Patrick Caffrey of Keansburg, President of the Tri-County Charity Center. The trio is required to pay $40,000 more, plus another $18,000 to the NYU Langone Medical Center, to satisfy the charity's claimed mission of supplying funds to families and individuals battling cancer.
The complaint filed in Monmouth County charged that Caffrey and the Montos arranged to buy vehicles on behalf of Tri County through their home-based company, I Buy Cars For You LLC. They are believed to have bought 71 luxury cars worth more than $2,300,000 betwen 2009 and 2011, then quickly exported them to Canada, China, Finalnd, Georgia, Germany, Lithuania, Russia, South Korea, Sweden and other global centers.
Authorities charged that Carl Monto ran an unlicensed business, and claimed that he misused the charity's 501(c)(3) status to evade the sales tax with Caffrey's knowledge and consent, using fake drivers' licenses and identification. Caffrey donated $100 to Tri County for each car.
Caffrey delivered a certified check in the amount of $10,000 to the state,is donating $3,000 to the medical center in New York, is submitting proof that Tri County Charity Center has disbanded and agrees to avoid leadership positions in charities operating or soliciting in New Jersey.
The Montos were charged with violations of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act, Charities Registration and Investigation Act, and Charities Regulations. The complaint can be seen at http://www.njconsumeraffairs.gov/press/10132011.htm.
Denise Monto paid $5,000 under the agreement. State officials have conditionally suspended another penatly in the same amount but have the option ro reinstate it if she disregards the settlement or engages in any deceptive practices or legal violations in the next year.
Carl Monto paid a certified check for $2,500 to the state, remitting $40,000 more in an installment plan. State officials are directing $15,000 of it to the NYU Langone Medical Center and suspending an addtional $60,000 penalty.
Anyone who wants to know about charities registered in New Jersey can visit http://www.njconsumeraffairs.gov/charity/chardir.htm or call the DCA Charities Hotline: 973-504-6215. The DCA's Consumer Fraud hotline is 800-242-5846.