Modified: November 3, 2017 4:11pm
Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn announces that 63-year-old Richard Giza of Lancaster has pleaded guilty before Erie County Court Judge Kenneth F. Case to Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, Forgery in the Second Degree, Insurance Fraud in the Third Degree, Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree and Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree for illegally operating at least two car dealerships.
From May of 2010 to May of 2016, Giza admitted that as operator of KPS Carrs in Buffalo and Premier Motocar in Williamsville, he accepted payment for vehicles and never transferred the titles or filed the proper paperwork to the purchasers. He further admitted that he falsified DMV forms by failing to indicate he was selling cars, in order to avoid detection by the DMV.
Giza also admitted to filing false insurance applications which overstated business assets and forging documents such as lien releases from various creditors.
Giza stole a total of $122,190.45 in the form of sales tax collected in connection with the sale of vehicles that he failed to forward to the proper authorities.
He faces mandatory state prison time with a maximum term of 15 years when he is sentenced by Judge Case on February 5, 2018 at 2 p.m.
DA Flynn commends the investigative work of the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance, New York State Police and the New York State Department of Financial Services, Criminal Investigation Unit.
“This defendant engineered a scheme that he used to fraudulently enrich himself by ripping-off innocent consumers and cheating honest taxpayers,” says Financial Services Superintendent Maria T. Vullo. “The Department of Financial Services appreciates the opportunity to have worked on this case with the office of District Attorney Flynn and our other law enforcement partners.”
“This taxpayer blatantly deceived his customers for his own personal gain, putting honest business owners at a serious disadvantage, and must now serve time in state prison,” said Nonie Manion, New York State Acting Commissioner of Taxation and Finance. “We thank the Erie County District Attorney for prosecuting this case.”
Assistant District Attorneys Gary M. Ertel and Rachel Kranitz McPhee in the DA’s Special Investigations and Prosecutions Bureau prosecuted the case.