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Long IslandNassau

Police: Car salesman stole $175G from 2 Nassau dealers

Nassau County police said a Freeport man took down payments and pocketed cash, even altering loan applications, at two car dealerships in Nassau County, -- stealing more than $175,000 since 2012.

Michael McGriff, 41, of 56 Forest Ave., has been arrested after an investigation by the Crimes Against Property Squad and the Nassau County district attorney's office. Police said McGriff, whose alleged scheme involved at least 27 contracts for deals cut at Port Motors on Northern Boulevard in Roslyn and Auto Galleria on Old County Road in Westbury between 2012 and 2014, was arrested in East Garden City on Tuesday at 7:55 a.m.

McGriff was charged with six counts of third-degree grand larceny, second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument, first-degree falsifying of business records, defraud and violation of probation. Police said McGriff was hospitalized for a prior medical condition and would be arraigned as soon as practicable.

As part of the scheme, police said McGriff took down payments for vehicles, but kept money for "his own personal gain." Then, police said, he altered credit applications, stating customers gave a lower down payment -- or that they made a higher salary.

It was not immediately clear how long McGriff was employed by the two dealerships or how many deals were made at each. However, police said Port Motors suffered in excess of $170,000 in losses, while Auto Galleria lost $5,000.

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