MURRYSVILLE, Pa. -- According to documents filed in U.S. District Court, Joseph Colaizzi, a former Murrysville, Pa., car dealer, plans to plead guilty to federal mail fraud charges next month.
The 46-year-old Colaizzi is charged with 688 counts of fraud – 292 of which are felony counts - allegedly committed at his dealership, Cars ‘N More, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported.
Colaizzi was arrested July 1, 2004, on charges ranging from theft to tampering with public records that involved about 90 trade-in vehicles at the dealership.
The trade-ins were given fraudulent titles and resold without the previous loans being paid, police told the newspaper.
Often times the customer had the outstanding debt folded into their loan. The dealership financed new loans, but customers who thought the dealership paid off their balance began receiving late notices for unpaid loans.
Many customers also found that the previous owner or lending institution held the original title, and that the titled issued to them had been falsified, the newspaper reported.
If convicted, Colaizzi could face as much as $1 million in fines and 20 years in prison.