Used Car Dealer Sentenced for Conning Buyers into Superstorm-Damaged Vehicles
The former owner of a used-car lot in Old Bridge can expect to spend three years in prison for palming off Superstorm-damaged cars on unwitting buyers.
Jonathan Olin, 42, of Manalapan, pleaded guilty to theft by deception in August regarding cars that changed hands at D&D Auto Sales on Englishtown Road. He's ordered to repay each victim in full. He collected about $86,000 in all, according to information from the office of acting New Jersey Attorney General John Hoffman.
In October, Jessie Dinome, 30, of Jackson, a former New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission technician at the Freehold agency, was given two years' probation and 100 hours of community service for her role in the scam. Dinome admitted getting the bogus titles for the vehicles. She forfeited her job and is no longer eligible for public employment.
Jacob Douek, 40, of Staten Island, awaits proceedings on allegations that he lied to customers about the damaged goods during negotiations. Christina Farese, 33, of Old Bridge, a receptionist and clerk, entered pretrial intervention.
Investigators determined that the scheme unfolded between February and July 2013. Olin admitted gathering fraudulent titles for eight vehicles bought at auction, and selling seven of them. The vehicles were insured by the same company and were auctioned without titles under bills of sale, intended for use for parts only.
"Olin proved himself to be the lowest form of con artist and parasite by cashing in on the tragedy of Superstorm Sandy," Hoffman said. "Not only did he rip off car buyers, he put them and other drivers in danger by selling storm-damaged cars that could fail or even catch fire."
Dinome and Farese manipulated the MVC digital system to create titles, and signatures of previous owners were forged onto them, authorities said.