Employee of Middletown Used Car Dealership Admits Role in Auto Loan Fraud Scheme
John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that JUSTIN WILLIAMS, 42, of Rocky Hill, waived his right to be indicted and pleaded guilty yesterday to one count of wire fraud arising from an auto loan fraud scheme.
Pursuant to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), the court proceeding before U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas O. Farrish occurred via videoconference.
According to court documents and statements made in court, Williams worked as a salesman and de facto general manager at a used car dealership located at 1075 Newfield Street in Middletown, known variously as Car Nation, LLC, Car Nation CT, LLC, and Middletown Motorcars, which was owned and operated by George Hajati. In connection with automobile loan applications for multiple borrowers, Williams, Hajati and others submitted documents and statements to victim lenders that falsely represented the borrower’s employment, salary, sources of income, and amount of a down payment. The false documents included fictitious or altered borrower pay stubs and income verification letters purportedly from the Social Security Administration. Williams submitted loan applications indicating that borrowers made salaries they did not make, worked at jobs they did not work, received income from the Social Security Administration they did not receive, and made down payments they did not make. In some instances, the borrower was not aware of, and did not authorize, Williams’ use of his or her personal identifying information to obtain automobile loans in these ways.
Between approximately November 2015 and June 2016, Williams defrauded lenders of $300,037.02 through this scheme.
Williams was arrested on a criminal complaint on January 16, 2020.
Williams was previously convicted of federal fraud charges related to a Hartford-area scheme to defraud mortgage lenders, and he was on federal supervised release at the time of the auto loan fraud.
At sentencing, which is not scheduled, Williams faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 30 years. He also faces additional penalties for violating the conditions of his supervise release.
Williams has been released on a $100,000 bond since his arrest.
Hajati pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud stemming from this scheme. He also was previously convicted of federal fraud charges related to the Hartford-area mortgage fraud scheme and was serving a term of supervised release. In June 2020, he was sentenced to 27 months of imprisonment and ordered to pay $654,952.56 in restitution for his role in the auto loan fraud scheme, and was sentenced to an additional 21 months of imprisonment for violating the conditions of his supervised release.
This matter has been investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Social Security Administration Office of Inspector General. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Conor M. Reardon and David T. Huang.