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Press Release

Bristol Man Pleads Guilty to Participating in Vehicle Theft Scheme

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Connecticut

Vanessa Roberts Avery, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that RYAN TESTA, 47, of Bristol, pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Judge Janet C. Hall in New Haven to charges stemming from a series of vehicle thefts from dealerships using personal information from identity theft victims.

According to court documents and statement made in court, beginning in approximately September 2020, Testa’s alleged co-conspirator utilized personal information stolen from residents of Connecticut and other states to apply for vehicle loans at dealerships in Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Rhode Island for motorcycles, an all-terrain vehicle, and other performance vehicles.  Once the loan was approved by the dealership using the identity theft victim’s information, Testa’s co-conspirator would send a series of runners, including Testa, to pick up the vehicle utilizing a fictitious driver’s license that included the identity theft victim’s information and a photograph of the runner.  The vehicle was then transported back to Connecticut for resale on Facebook Marketplace.

Testa pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud, which carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 30 years, and one count of aggravated identity theft, which carries a mandatory consecutive term of imprisonment of two years.  Judge Hall scheduled sentencing for May 21.

Testa has been detained since May 16, 2023.

This matter is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation the FBI’s New Haven Safe Streets/Gang Task Force, the Bridgeport Police Department, the Hopkinton (R.I.) Police Department, the Westtown – East Goshen Regional (Pa.) Police Department, and the Washington Township (N.J.) Police Department.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Lauren C. Clark and Heather M. Cherry.

Updated February 27, 2024

Financial Fraud
Identity Theft