14 members of false title ring indicted in New Jersey April 22, 2009Posted by jefhenningeresq in News.
Tags: Bribery, Crime, Fraud, Law, New Jersey, News, official misconduct
Wesley Starr of Trenton, a former Motor Vehicle Commission clerk, was indicted today on charges that he sold hundreds of fraudulent motor vehicle titles to various brokers and purchasers, including 13 people who were also charged today in separate indictments. Starr was charged in a 20 count indictment with conspiracy, official misconduct, bribery, forgery as well as tampering with public records.
The State alleges that Starr allegedly circumvented the regular titling procedures using a special procedure by which public agencies obtain an application for certificate of ownership for abandoned vehicles that will be sold at public auction. They allege that between January 2006 and November 2007, Starr used the special procedure to issue approximately 378 fraudulent vehicle titles that were sold, primarily through middlemen or “brokers,” to numerous purchasers.
These defendants were also charged today:
- Rafael Gomez, 51, of Trenton, an employee of Hawk’s Towing Recovery in Trenton.
- Carmine Meola, 33, of East Hanover, an employee of Harrison Auto Body in Newark.
- Thaer Abuhamood, 29, of Lawrence, whose family owns Kaars, Inc. in Trenton.
- John Delcorpo, 22, of Stanhope, who owns Specialized Recovery in Rockaway.
- Thomas Sonnenberg, 41, of Lake Hopcatong, who owns Motorcycle Madness in Lafayette.
- James Campbell, 30, of East Orange.
- Manuel Rivera, 42, of Belleville, owner of Manny’s Auto Sales in Newark.
- John McElroy, 51, of Livingston, owner of Select Towing in West Orange.
- Maryleigh Barbusin, 50, of Little Silver, McElroy’s girlfriend and an employee of Select Towing.
- Raymond A. Sobers, 48, of Montclair, owner of Roach’s Towing in Montclair.
- Hognjan Yuan, 52, of North Brunswick, owner of John’s Auto in Montclair.
- Damon Stinson Jr., 67, of Montclair.
- Waldemar Kos, 58, of Montclair, owner of KOS Motor Cars Inc in Montclair.
Each defendant was charged with conspiracy, official misconduct and bribery, all in the second degree, and third-degree tampering with public records or information. All defendants but Damon Stinson Jr. were also charged with third-degree forgery.
Starr faces some big problems here. Obviously, everyone else is going to line up to flip against him as they are facing less time to begin with. In addition, when you are facing so many charges, it is almost like each set of charges is another case. Thus, to win at trial, you have to win all of them which is not easy to do. His best bet is to work this out ASAP.
Story is here.