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Cops: Commack man arrested in Craigslist auto sale scam

Emmanuel Amaral, 48, of Commack, seen in a

Emmanuel Amaral, 48, of Commack, seen in a 2012 arrest photo, was arrested Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2017, on grand larceny charges in connection with a Craigslist auto scam, Suffolk County police said. Credit: SCPD

A Commack man convicted in a scam in 2015 has been arrested again on charges that he took money from prospective car buyers and never delivered the vehicles, officials said.

Emmanuel Amaral, 48, offered the cars for sale on Craigslist during the latest scam, Suffolk County police said, and in one case he took money from a person he met while in line at a bagel shop and another person he met at a school event.

Police confirmed Amaral was also arrested on similar charges in Suffolk County in 2012.

Online court records show he was indicted in February 2012, but the records do not specify the charge. The records show he was first ordered held without bail, then released on his own recognizance in June 2013.

The case has been adjourned more than 20 times since then, according to the records.

“The defendant pleaded guilty in March of 2015 and he has not complied, as directed in a restitution judgment order, that he return $94,000 to his victims,” Robert Clifford, Suffolk County district attorney spokesman, said in a statement. “Despite this office’s objections, his sentencing to a prison term of up to three years has been repeatedly adjourned.”

The online records show Amaral is due to return to court in the previous case on Oct. 18. Details of that case are not revealed in those records.

Amaral was arrested on the latest charges outside his home on Maplelawn Drive at 2 p.m. Wednesday and was arraigned Thursday in First District Court in Central Islip on seven counts of grand larceny, police said. His bail was set at $80,000 cash or $160,000 bond.

The latest scam ran from December 2016 until now, police said, and they asked anyone else who had been victimized to contact them at 631-853-7114. Investigators noted that Amaral had aliases Manny Balboa and Manny Amaral.

In the latest scam, victims paid between $3,000 and $24,000 for the vehicles, “and waited several months for delivery . . . which never occurred,” police said. Amaral pocketed a total of $73,000, police said.

Attorney William Keahon, whose office represents Amaral in both cases, declined to comment.

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