HARRISBURG (KDKA) – Thirteen Pennsylvania businesses and 19 individuals have been charged in what officials have called a “license laundering ring.”
The defendants are accused of coordinating the purchase of totaled vehicles, falsifying inspection information and submitting false title claims to PennDOT to circumvent strict requirements for restored licenses in states such as New Jersey and Massachusetts, or to make the stolen vehicles appear legal for resale or export, according to the Pennsylvania office. – said the general prosecutor.
“These defendants used their positions and knowledge of PennDOT’s requirements to deceive state and federal authorities, hide stolen vehicles and put unsuspecting drivers at risk,” Attorney General Josh Shapiro said in a news release.
“Vehicles that have been damaged must not only be repaired, but also undergo enhanced security checks to ensure they are safe. These defendants instead allowed hundreds of badly damaged vehicles to hit the roads in Pennsylvania and across the country without even looking at them. “
Prosecutors said the two men involved, George Frieta of George’s Garage and Luis Salazar of Salazar Auto Sales, did not undergo the enhanced vehicle safety inspection required to make a car roadworthy, but simply filled out the paperwork.
Frieta claimed to have conducted more than 240 inspections over a ten-day period in December 2020, but investigators said he did the paperwork using photos, and his employees even admitted they never had a single enhanced security check on the vehicle.
Consumers who believe they may have been victimized title ring for washing or have information, are asked to email email@example.com.