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Press Release

Erie Man Sentenced for Role in Bank Robbery

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

ERIE, Pa. - A resident of Erie, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty in federal court to a charge of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, Acting United States Attorney Soo C. Song announced today.

Brian Alex Vergotz, 50, pleaded guilty to one count before United States District Judge David S. Cercone.

In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that from in and around May 2015, to in and around March 2016, Vergotz and a co-defendant engaged in a scheme to defraud auto loan providers by using straw purchasers to buy cars from Vergotz knowing that the vehicles would not actually be in the possession of the straw purchasers. Vergotz and a co-defendant also falsified the loan applications to make the straw purchasers appear more credit worthy.

Judge Cercone scheduled sentencing for April 16, 2018. The law provides for a total sentence of 30 years in prison, a fine of $1,000,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Pending sentencing, the court continued Vergotz on bond.

Assistant United States Attorney Christian A. Trabold is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Pennsylvania State Police and the Erie Police Department conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Vergotz.

Updated November 24, 2017