Friends of the Professional Car Society - Official Website of the Professional Car Society, Inc.Friends of the Professional Car Society - Official Website of the Professional Car Society, Inc.

Go Back   Friends of the Professional Car Society - Official Website of the Professional Car Society, Inc. > Professional Car Discussion > General Discussion Forum


General Discussion Forum For the general discussion of Professional Cars.

Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 08-05-2018, 12:51 AM
Channing Spencer Channing Spencer is offline
Website Member
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Monument CO 80132
Posts: 189
Thanks: 362
Thanked 379 Times in 177 Posts
Groans: 0
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default Classic Car Fraud

$4.5 million classic car fraud scheme shut down by FBI

Published August 03, 2018

Motor Authority
As classic cars become more than just aspirational items and more investment pieces, buyers should always stay vigilant. Today, it's easy for criminals to scam would-be buyers out of a sale with a little creativity and the Internet. Many enthusiasts found that out the hard way over the past two years.

The FBI and the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York exposed a $4.5 million classic car fraud ring and unsealed an indictment detailing the criminals' doing last month. In total, 25 defendants were charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to commit concealment money laundering.

The criminals, most of Eastern European descent, launched the nationwide fraud ring in November 2016 and the criminal activity continued through July of 2018. U.S. officials said the scheme involved posting fake classic car ads online, luring buyers, and setting up shell corporations to transfer money out of the U.S.

Victims responded to ads for various classic cars on popular car sale sites, and once the two parties agreed on a final price, the defendants would direct the buyers to automotive transportation companies. The transport companies were actually the shell corporations ready to receive payment and wait for one of the 25 criminals to withdraw the funds. Victims never received the car they thought was being delivered.

Upon receiving payment, the group would begin withdrawing money from the shell corporations' bank accounts sometimes the same day victims wired money. The group worked to ensure withdrawals were in varied denominations to not tip off financial institutions or authorities to the illegal activity. The money was then sent to various Eastern European countries. Most of the victims were never able to recover the money sent and some have been left paying for auto loans without ever purchasing a car.

Each defendant could be in for up to 50 years in prison for their crimes and victims will be eligible for restitution.
Reply With Quote
The Following 6 Users Say Thank You to Channing Spencer For This Useful Post:
Andrew G. Zajkowski (08-06-2018), Bill Marcy (08-05-2018), Mike McDonald (08-05-2018), Mike Zaccaria (08-05-2018), Paul Steinberg  (08-05-2018), Peter Grave (08-05-2018)
Old 08-05-2018, 11:28 AM
John ED Renstrom's Avatar
John ED Renstrom John ED Renstrom is offline
PCS Member - Elected Director 2017-2020
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Hot Springs SD 57747
Posts: 11,425
Thanks: 4,062
Thanked 14,668 Times in 6,210 Posts
Groans: 2
Groaned at 3 Times in 3 Posts

Sorry why would you pay big bucks for anything over the internet with seeing or checking on it.
drop in for coffee anytime
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to John ED Renstrom For This Useful Post:
Richard Vyse (08-06-2018)
Old 08-05-2018, 04:14 PM
Peter Grave Peter Grave is offline
PCS Member
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Ottsville PA 18942-0250
Posts: 838
Thanks: 1,481
Thanked 2,016 Times in 1,119 Posts
Groans: 0
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts

. Ahh yes but as a famous Circus owner once said "There is one born every minute". And as my Grandmother said "If it sounds too good to be true it isn't". Ed you are so right if you can't see it touch it and talk with the owner or have your representative look it why would you spend the $$$. I am not a fan of the Big Auction Companys either too many scamers selling nice looking junk at them too.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Peter Grave For This Useful Post:
John ED Renstrom (08-05-2018)
Old 08-05-2018, 10:08 PM
Bill Marcy's Avatar
Bill Marcy Bill Marcy is offline
PCS Member
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Hackensack NJ 07601
Posts: 2,148
Thanks: 2,851
Thanked 3,038 Times in 1,431 Posts
Groans: 1
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts

I understand what Ed and Pete are saying and there is lots of common sense in it.
However, I am sure that there are many positive and happy, internet sales. I have been selling on ebay and other internet sites for years and I sincerely hope everyone was happy with the items and cars they have bought from me. Having said this, I do believe that you should always be careful, especially if you are spending a large sum of money. Things should make sense, for example; I had a seller on craigslist tell me that the car was sold through ebay, with ebay buyer protection, I mean really? That guy instructed me to send the money via Western Union to Jose Torres in Detroit, then they would deliver the car to me and then upon my approval, the sale would finalize. Now imagine that this car was located in a town less than ten miles from my house, at least according to the ad listing. Obviously, I did not participate, but I did forward the info to ebay.

The most important part of this is, use common sense, when buying over the phone, or internet.
Co-Chair PCS 2016 Gettysburg Meet
Editor of The Criterion
Past Northeast Chapter President
Past BoD Member
Co-Chair PCS 1999 Lancaster Meet

And I have to say that I enjoyed every minute of it!
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Bill Marcy For This Useful Post:
Rick Franklin (08-06-2018)
Old 08-05-2018, 11:57 PM
Paul Steinberg Paul Steinberg is offline
PCS Past President / Senior Website Administrator
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Woodstock CT 06281
Posts: 6,448
Thanks: 6,850
Thanked 11,892 Times in 3,908 Posts
Groans: 0
Groaned at 9 Times in 9 Posts

The best and safest way, is to have someone you know put eyes and hands on the car, and check it for any defects that the seller hasn't mentioned. I did this with my 1969 Miller Meteor ambulance, and I paid a forum member to go the distance to look at the car. It was worth it to me to spend the money and know that what the seller was telling me, was the truth. The only time that I couldn't do this was with the car that I purchased out of Alaska. It was in such a remote area of the state, I was lucky that I was able to get it down to the states as quickly as I did. Once in the states, a PCS member took delivery of it on the West Coast, and eventually it made it East to my home.
When I purchased my 1962 Chevrolet, I took the word of the seller, only to find that it had some physical damage that wasn't disclosed. I was torn between leaving it behind after I got there, or absorb the cost of the repair. I decided that it was worth it to me to absorb the repair costs.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Paul Steinberg For This Useful Post:
Rick Franklin (08-06-2018)
Old 08-06-2018, 09:47 AM
Kurt Arends's Avatar
Kurt Arends Kurt Arends is offline
PCS Member
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Council Bluffs IA 51503
Posts: 1,969
Thanks: 5,697
Thanked 5,372 Times in 2,498 Posts
Groans: 7
Groaned at 1 Time in 1 Post

If you question the legitimacy of an auction or other internet listing and wonder if they even have the car in their posession, just ask the seller to take a photo of a very specific detail on the car and e-mail it to you. This would be a photo of something that the seller could not find a photo of on-line, if it were a scam. The European buyers do this all the time.
1996 S&S Masterpiece
1975 S&S Victoria 3-Way Landau
1975 Superior Cadillac 54" Ambulance(Ex Decatur Ambulance Service, Decatur, IL)
1974 M-M Cadillac Lifeliner Ambulance(Ex Minden City/County Safety Authority, Minden, NE)
Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Kurt Arends For This Useful Post:
Bill Marcy (08-06-2018), Paul Steinberg  (08-06-2018)

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Classic Car Insurance Channing Spencer General Discussion Forum 15 10-01-2015 02:22 PM
1969 MM Classic 48 James Fischer eBay Listings Discussion Forum 18 10-07-2013 09:53 PM
It really was a classic look Tim Prieur General Discussion Forum 0 03-27-2011 09:42 PM
Classic Photos Kyle Wilkinson General Discussion Forum 2 05-10-2009 02:24 PM

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 03:58 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright 2009 - 2018 Friends of the Professional Car Society