A former salesman was sentenced to at least 16 months in prison for stealing car payments from customers and dealerships in Nassau County.
Michael McGriff pleaded guilty to charges, from two separate indictments, of grand larceny, identity theft and scheming to defraud.
McGriff must pay restitution in the amount of $365,546 by civil judgment to his victims.
At Lexus of Rockville Centre and Port Motors Lincoln Mercury in Roslyn, McGriff concealed his theft of funds from his victims by preparing finance contracts that did not reflect the down payments given. As a result, customers were forced to pay higher-than-expected monthly payments or face repossession of the car because the down payment money given to McGriff was never applied to the loan.
McGriff also collected cash payments in full for used cars from customers. Months later, the customers discovered that McGriff had forged finance contracts generated and filed with multiple banks for auto loans that the customers never authorized.
Some customers had their vehicles repossessed when the customers refused to pay for the fraudulently obtained loans.
In yet another scheme while working at Port Motors, McGriff collected cash payments from customers, but never produced a car.
McGriff also used an alias, Michael Glenn, claimed an affiliation with Titanium Auto Group in Uniondale, and collected $12,900 cash from a victim to purchase a vehicle at auction, but never bought the car.
Customers reported their dealings with McGriff to the dealership that, in turn, reported it to police.