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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Owner of Erie Auto Group and Finance Manager Indicted on Fraud Charges

ERIE, Pa. –  Two Erie County residents have been indicted by a federal grand jury in Erie on charges of conspiracy, bank fraud and wire fraud, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.

The 17-count indictment named Andrew Gabler, 50, of Harborcreek, Pennsylvania and Chad Bednarski, 48, of Fairview, Pennsylvania as defendants.

According to the indictment presented to the court, Andrew Gabler was the owner of Lakeside Auto Sales and Lakeside Chevrolet and Chad Bednarski was the finance manager of Lakeside Auto Sales and Lakeside Chevrolet. The indictment states that from in and around January 2015, to in and around January 2019, Gabler and Bednarski falsely indicated that customers made a down payment and falsified and inflated the income of customers when submitting auto loan applications to financial institutions on behalf of customers. In addition, Mr. Gabler caused extended warranties to be sold to customers buying a vehicle at Lakeside Auto Sales and Lakeside Chevrolet and deliberately failed to remit the paperwork and payment to the extended warranty company. Further, the defendants falsely reported vehicle sales to General Motors for vehicles that had not been sold in order to obtain expiring incentive rebates. Finally, the defendants deliberately did not inform S&T Bank when Lakeside Auto Sales and Lakeside Chevrolet sold a vehicle that the dealerships had purchased utilizing S&T Bank’s floor plan financing in order to delay and attempt to avoid the dealerships’ required payment to S&T Bank for the sold vehicles which had been purchased using S&T Bank’s floor plan financing.

The law provides for a maximum total sentence of 510 years in prison and a fine of $17,000,000 for Andrew Gabler and 330 years in prison and a fine of $11,000,000 for Chad Bednarski. Under the federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendants.

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

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Pennsylvania State Police conducted the investigation leading to the indictment in this case.

An indictment is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Updated August 13, 2019