“Used Car King of New York” pleads guilty in nationwide scheme to sell thousands of fraudulent Texas vehicle tags
HOUSTON – A 51-year-old man who advertised himself as the “Used Car King of New York” has admitted to conspiring to commit wire fraud, announced U.S. Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery.
Octavian Ocasio pleaded guilty to conspiring with others residing in the Southern District of Texas to buying and selling thousands of fraudulent Texas-issued temporary buyer tags for cars outside of Texas without a legitimate vehicle purchase.
Ocasio and co-conspirators used the internet to buy and sell the fraudulent state-issued buyer tags and exchange proceeds from the illegal tag sales.
As part of his plea, Ocasio acknowledged he and his co-conspirators communicated through accounts on Gmail, Instagram and Facebook to receive and deliver fraudulent buyer tags to purchasers all over the United States, including New York, Florida and Washington, D.C.
He also admitted he and his co-conspirators advertised the state-issued buyer tags on social media platforms and received and shared fraud proceeds via electronic payment services such as Cash App and Zelle.
U.S. District Judge George C. Hanks Jr. will impose sentencing Feb. 6, 2023. At that time, Ocasio faces up to 20 years in federal prison and a possible $250,000 maximum fine.
Ocasio has been and will remain in custody pending that hearing.
Emmanuel Padilla Reyes aka Christian Hernandez Bonilla or Noel Rivera is still a fugitive in this case. The FBI is offering a $5,000 reward to anyone providing information that directly leads to his arrest. Those with information about the fugitive’s location should call 1-800-CALL-FBI or email www.TIPS.FBI.GOV
The FBI conducted the investigation with assistance of Travis County Precinct 3 Constable’s Office, Houston Police Department, Texas Department of Public Safety, Texas Department of Motor Vehicles, Harris County Sheriff’s Office, New York State Police and New York City Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Belinda Beek and Adam Goldman are prosecuting the case.