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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Pennsylvania

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, May 27, 2021

Rhode Island Man Sentenced To 10 Months’ Imprisonment For Automobile Warranty Fraud Scheme

SCRANTON - The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that on May 26, 2021, Herman Cabral, age 62, of Cranston, Rhode Island, was sentenced to 10 months’ imprisonment and three years of supervised release by United States District Court Judge Malachy E. Mannion for a wire fraud conspiracy offense.

According to Acting United States Attorney Bruce D. Brandler, Cabral was convicted of processing false invoices for nonexistent automobile repairs through his Providence, Rhode Island automobile repair shop, A Plus Collision Center.  Cabral pleaded guilty on July 23, 2019, to causing between $150,000 and $250,000 of fraudulent loss to the Wilkes-Barre based automobile warranty company. Judge Mannion also ordered Cabral to pay restitution of $211,644.03 to the victim of his crime.

Three of Cabral’s coconspirators were convicted and are awaiting sentencing:

  1. Brian Larry, age 59, of Clark’s Summit, Pennsylvania, was convicted on May 10, 2021, following a jury trial, of mail fraud, wire fraud, aggravated identity theft, and false statement offenses.  Larry was convicted of defrauding his former employer, the Wilkes-Barre based automobile warranty company, from approximately January 2014 through October 2018.  Larry also was convicted of stealing the personal information of warranty policy owners and providing it to his coconspirators, who created false invoices for nonexistent automobile repair work supposedly performed at various garages in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania, including by forging the policy owners’ signatures on the paperwork.  The false and forged documentation was then sent to the warranty company, where Larry approved payment of the invoices.  During the course of the scheme, Larry and his coconspirators obtained approximately $400,000 paid out by the warranty company pursuant to the false invoices, including thousands of dollars in repair work for Larry’s personal vehicle that he charged to other policy owners.  The evidence at trial showed that Larry then falsified internal warranty company documents in an attempt to conceal his crimes.
  2. Matthew Gershkoff, age 64, of North Providence, Rhode Island, pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit wire fraud, and to aggravated identity theft, and is awaiting sentencing.  Gershkoff was convicted of preparing false invoices for nonexistent automobile repairs at multiple automobile repair shops located in Rhode Island and in Massachusetts, and for forging policy owners’ signatures.  Gershkoff pleaded guilty on May 18, 2020, to causing between $250,000 and $550,000 of fraudulent loss to the Wilkes-Barre based automobile warranty company, and has agreed to repay restitution.
  3. Jason Pannone, age 39, of North Providence, Rhode Island, pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit wire fraud and mail fraud, and to aggravated identity theft, and is awaiting sentencing.  Pannone was convicted of processing false invoices for nonexistent automobile repairs through his Providence, Rhode Island automobile detailing shop, Platinum Auto Services, and through a North Attleboro, Massachusetts automobile repair shop, Ultra Auto Services.  Pannone pleaded guilty on March 23, 2021, to causing between $150,000 and $250,000 of fraudulent loss to the Wilkes-Barre based automobile warranty company, and he has agreed to repay over $128,000 in restitution.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Phillip J. Caraballo and Jeffrey St John prosecuted the case.

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Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Updated May 27, 2021