Car Showroom pic

FORMER CITY COUNCIL PRESIDENT OF HOBOKEN, NJ FOUND GUILTY FOR PARTICIPATION IN CAR LOAN SCHEME

By DEVON ST. CLAIRE

On June 22, 2017 a federal jury found former, City Council President and attorney in Hoboken, New Jersey Christopher Campos guilty of bank wire fraud and conspiracy to commit bank and wire fraud.

Christopher Campos, Julio Alvarez and their co-conspirators fraudulently obtained millions of dollars in car loans based on false representations that the straw buyers would use the cars for their personal use, when in fact, Campos and his co-conspirators obtained the vehicles in order to lease them as livery cabs. They used at least 20 straw buyers to acquire more than 200 new automobiles.

Between approximately October 2012 and September 2013, Campos and Alvarez enlisted and aided individuals with good credit histories (“straw buyers”) to submit fraudulent car loan applications to numerous lenders in order to secure financing in connection with the purchase of these new cars. Straw buyers were sent to several car dealerships throughout New York City in order to obtain new vehicles. Dealership employees then helped straw buyers submit fraudulent loan applications.

Rather then stating that the vehicles would be used as part of the defendants’ leasing business, the straw buyers submitted auto loan applications falsely stating that the vehicles would be used for the buyers’ personal use. The car loan applications misrepresented personal information about the straw buyers including their incomes and assets. Financing applications were then sent to multiple financial institutions at the same time so the lenders would not figure out that the straw buyers were incurring obligations to other lenders for the purchase of multiple new automobiles. All of this was under the direction of Campos. Approximately 20 other straw buyers aided Campos and Alvarez in the purchase of about 200 new vehicles and more than $7 million in fraudulently obtained loans which ultimately went into default.

The trial went on for about a week and took place before U.S. District Judge Valerie E. Caproni, who is scheduled to sentence Campos on September 20, 2017. Julio Alvarez, is scheduled to be sentenced on September 8, 2017 before Judge Caproni and has pled guilty to bank and wire fraud and conspiracy to commit bank and wire fraud on June 9, 2017. The conspiracy and bank fraud charges each carry a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison and the wire fraud charge carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. The maximum potential sentences are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the judge.

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