Two Pennsylvania men have been sentenced to a combined 35 years in state prison for their roles in an auto theft ring responsible for thefts of more than $3 million worth of vehicles, according to New Jersey Attorney General Stuart Rabner and Criminal Justice Director Gregory A. Paw.
According to Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Greta Gooden Brown, Dariusz Grabowski, also known as Derek Grabowski, 37, Lake Ariel, Pa., was ordered by Superior Court Judge Scott J. Moynihan in Union County to serve 20 years in state prison, with eight years parole ineligibility, and to pay more than $725,000 in restitution.
In addition, Grabowski’s brother, Krzysztof Grabowski, 26, also of Lake Ariel, was ordered to serve 15 years in state prison, with seven years parole ineligibility, and to pay more than $725,000 in restitution.
Officials said that on Feb. 8, Dariusz Grabowski pleaded guilty before Judge Moynihan to a criminal accusation that charged him with second-degree leader of organized crime, second-degree conspiracy to commit racketeering and second-degree racketeering. Krzysztof Grabowski, 26, of Lake Ariel, pleaded guilty the same day to second-degree conspiracy to commit racketeering, second-degree racketeering and third-degree alteration of a vehicle identification number, they said.
A multi-agency investigation into the criminal network revealed that more than 150 vehicles with a total value in excess of $3 million were stolen, re-tagged and sold by Dariusz Grabowski and other members of the criminal enterprise he admitted to leading.
At the guilty plea hearing before Judge Moynihan, Dariusz Grabowski admitted that between March 2003 and November 2005, he was the leader of an organized enterprise that stole cars, re-tagged them using counterfeit and salvaged titles, and sold them, frequently on the Internet through eBay, according to officials.
A re-tagged or re-plated vehicle is a vehicle which has had its original vehicle identification number plate removed so that a VIN from another vehicle, usually a vehicle which has been damaged in an accident and which is a salvage vehicle, can be affixed to the stolen vehicle to disguise that it was stolen.
Dariusz Grabowski admitted that he falsely portrayed himself as a locksmith licensed in New York to obtain automobile key codes from a company known as Key Code Express located in Florida.
Fraud Prosecutor Brown reported that Dariusz Grabowski admitted he falsely obtained more than 130 key codes from Key Code Express in Florida, as well as 36 key codes from the Jameson Code Service and six key codes from the Key Quest Inc. key service. He obtained the key codes so that other members of the enterprise could steal vehicles, frequently from automobile dealerships, and so that the stolen vehicles could be re-tagged and sold on eBay. He admitted that he was involved in the sale of at least 42 stolen vehicles utilizing eBay.
Krzysztof Grabowski admitted that, as a member of this enterprise, he obtained counterfeit vehicle tags and titles.
Source: New Jersey Attorney General
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