A Southampton man was charged on Thursday with stealing more than $600,000 by defrauding customers of his car-hauling companies, the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York said.
Not only did Gregory Sclafani, 62, fail to transport his customers' cars, he also required them to provide detailed information about their checking accounts so that he could withdraw cash, prosecutors said.
"Once in possession of the customers' bank account information, he also generated fraudulent checks in order to make repeated, unauthorized withdrawals from those customers' accounts," the U.S. attorney's office said in a statement.
At least 100 people, whom Sclafani solicited online, were victimized in the wire and mail fraud scheme that ran from 2008 to the present, the statement said.
"Under the guise of acting as a cost-effective broker of automobile transportation services, the defendant allegedly broke the trust of his victims and stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from them," said Loretta E. Lynch, the U.S. attorney.
People who believe they were defrauded can call 888-DOT-SAFT or file a complaint online at nccdb.fmcsa.dot.gov.
Sclafani was arrested on Thursday. He appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge A. Kathleen Tomlinson at the U.S. District Court in Central Islip. He was remanded.