Two men are facing years in prison and have each been ordered to pay restitution after being sentencing for an elaborate identity theft/auto theft scheme in Westchester.
The duo was involved in a complex identity fraud scheme that allowed them to fraudulently “purchase” and take possession of vehicles, mostly high-end, at car dealerships throughout Westchester by using the personal identifying information and credit of their victims, Westchester County District Attorney Anthony A. Scarpino, Jr. said.
Jankely Hidalgo and Jonathan Sevilla, both of the Bronx, will each spend two to six years in state prison. In addition to prison time, the court imposed judgment and orders for restitution to their victims related to stolen property and/or the cost to recover the stolen vehicles. The total for Hidalgo is $78,600.26 and Sevilla is $52,507.08.
Hidalgo and Sevilla each pleaded guilty in October to one count each of first-degree identity theft, a Class D felony, for the theft of a Lexus automobile from Ray Catena Lexus of Larchmont in the Town of Mamaroneck.
In addition, Sevilla pleaded guilty to a second count of first-degree identity theft for an attempted theft from Rivera Toyota of Mount Kisco Jan. 24, 2018.
Both admitted to additional thefts of vehicles at other locations in Westchester for which they were sentenced to pay restitution. Westchester County Court Judge Michael Martinelli accepted their pleas.
During the scheme, Hidalgo supplied Sevilla with forged driver’s licenses and victims’ personal identifying information, such as social security numbers, to present himself as a legitimate buyer who wanted financing for expensive vehicles, Scarpino said. Sevilla went into the dealerships to “purchase” these vehicles.
On Oct. 20, 2017, in the Town of Mamaroneck, Hidalgo drove Sevilla to the Ray Catena Lexus of Larchmont car dealership, where he presented himself using a victim’s identity, made a deal to finance a vehicle, and drove the vehicle off the lot without paying for it. Prosecutors say the ring successfully stole five cars from different Westchester County dealerships from October 2017 to February 2018.
This investigation was a collaboration among the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office, the Department of Homeland Security, and a number of police departments including the Westchester County Police, Fishkill and New Rochelle police departments.
Assistant District Attorney Stefanie DeNise of the Westchester County District Attorney’s Investigation Division Identity Theft Unit prosecuted the case.
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