Two suspects have been charged in an identity fraud scheme that has affected six New York dealerships.
Jankely Hidalgo and Jonathan Sevilla were arrested after trying to fraudulently purchase a vehicle with a forged Connecticut driver’s license.
Prosecutors say Hidalgo and Sevilla used forged driver’s licenses and victims’ personal identifying information to present themselves as legitimate buyers who wanted financing for expensive vehicles.
In October 2017, Sevilla made a deal to finance a vehicle priced at $86,741, and drove it off the lot without paying for it.
Prosecutors say the ring successfully stole 6 cars from other Westchester County dealerships from October 2017 to February 2018. Affected dealerships included Land Rover of New Rochelle, Lexus of Mount Kisco, New York, Ray Catena Lexus of Larchmont, Rivera Toyota of Mount Kisco, Croton AutoPark of Croton-On-Hudson, and Mercedes-Benz of Goldens Bridge.
“A search warrant of Hidalgo’s home in the Bronx recovered smartphones and a number of electronic devices, some storing victims’ identifying information, and a credit card reader/writer, used to create forged credit cards,” according to a statement by Westchester County District Attorney Anthony Scarpino. “In Sevilla’s Bronx home, detectives found more than a dozen cell phones, SIM phone cards and memory cards.”
Investigation showed that the stolen vehicles were to be exported to Africa for resale.
“Identity theft is a crime which can affect many victims and industries, as this alleged scheme shows. We are very proud of this multi-agency investigation which has led to these arrests, and thank, in particular the Westchester County Police for their work in this case,” said District Attorney Scarpino.
The value of the scheme is estimated between $500,000 and $1 million.