A Bronx car dealership owner faces conviction for his crimes.
Robert Federico, owner of the now-defunct Courtesy Lincoln Mercury car dealership, pled guilty to charges of grand larceny in the third degree and a scheme to defraud in the first degree. His sentencing is set for January 28, 2009.
The dealership was once located at 2131 Boston Road, until it closed in May of 2006.
Federico was arrested on June 22, after numerous complaints led to an investigation conducted by the Bronx District Attorneys office.
The district attorneys office believes several schemes were to pocket money. Federico failed to forward final lease payments so that the new owners could not register their vehicles. Customers were found liable for loans on both old and new vehicles due to Federico diverting the funds.
According to the district attorneys office, Federico had stolen about half a million dollars between January of 2005 and May of 2006 from several dozen customers.
“Before he went out of business, I left, because financially things were bad for him and I felt things were going to get rough and I had my own family to take care of,” said Jay Reyes, who briefly worked with Federico at the Boston Road location.
It is also noted by the DA’s office that Federico pocketed xtended warranty fees, which could reach as high as $1,900. The deceit was only discovered when customers would service their vehicles at a later date. Federico also submitted loan applications to more than one bank for customers, keeping the money from one of the loans.
According to the DA’s office, under the terms of the plea agreement, Federico will serve four months of weekends in jail and five months probation. He must also re-pay $ 500,000 in restitution to all 50 victims, half of which must be paid on the day of sentencing and the rest within the five-year term. Failure to comply may result in the imposition of a two- to six-year term in state prison.
Federico’s attorney was unable to comment on the matter as of press time.