11 arrested in alleged Nassau car dealership scams
Nassau County officials announced the arrests of 11 people Wednesday in a fraud investigation sparked by a January 2007 murder.
Car salesman Collin Thomas, 27, of Queens, was gunned down outside Universal Auto World in North Lawrence as he closed up the store. Authorities say the investigation into that murder led them to a web of financial schemes involving pimps, drug dealers, gang members and stolen identities.
Investigators say employees at Universal Auto World and Victory Toyota purchased luxury cars with stolen identities. The identity thieves would then charge third parties to rent the vehicles.
Two former employees of Universal Auto World, three of Victory Toyota and six non-employees were arrested and accused of participating in the schemes. Universal Auto World was also charged as a corporation and will face up to $80,000 in fines.
Police say they are still actively investigating Thomas? shooting death. District Attorney Kathleen Rice says she wouldn't be surprised if it had to do directly with the scam.
Click for more on protecting yourself from identity theft and dealership scams
Consumer Protection BoardFTC's Identity Theft SiteU.S. Department of Justice