Report: N. J. s used-car industry rife with abuse #left #hand #drive #cars


#car dealers
#

Report: N.J.’s used-car industry rife with abuse

Andrew Seidman Inquirer Trenton Bureau Last updated: Thursday, December 3, 2015, 11:59 PM Posted: Wednesday, December 2, 2015, 11:03 AM

New Jersey’s motor vehicle regulator has enabled hundreds of used-car dealers to operate beyond government oversight and perpetrate consumer fraud for years, according to a state report released Wednesday.

The 18-month investigation by the State Commission of Investigation opens a window into the obscure world of multi-dealer complexes or locations. It alleges that some of them have ties to organized crime and a group the U.S. considers a terrorist organization.

Subjects of the investigation immediately hit back, rejecting the commission’s conclusions and arguing that the state Motor Vehicle Commission had properly interpreted its rules in accordance with one of Gov. Christie’s first executive orders.

The 11 multi-dealer complexes in New Jersey occupy a loosely regulated niche framed by a history of weak and inconsistent enforcement, aggressive legal challenges, and bureaucratic receptiveness to behind-the-scenes pressure from Trenton lobbyists, said the 178-page report.

Collectively, the dealer-complexes owe about $10 million in unpaid taxes, the report said.

In one case, customers complained of paying money but not receiving their vehicles and purchasing cars that turned out to have severe defects, investigators said.

More coverage

The independent fact-finding agency referred its findings to state and federal law enforcement authorities and sent recommendations on improving oversight to Christie and the Legislature.

The report, titled Gaming the System: Abuse and Influence Peddling in New Jersey’s Used-Car Industry, describes the Motor Vehicle Commission as a hapless organization co-opted by narrow private interests, including an individual who owns a sham multi-dealer complex in Bridgeton, Cumberland County, with ties to the Bonanno organized crime family.

It’s fiction, Louis Civello Jr. owner of the Bridgeton-based New Jersey Dealers Auto Mall, said. It’s made up.

Lobbying on the Dealers Auto Mall’s behalf was C. Richard Kamin, a partner with MBI-GluckShaw and former director of the Motor Vehicle Commission’s precursor, the Division of Motor Vehicles. Kamin is also a former Republican assemblyman.

In an interview Wednesday, Kamin’s attorney, Lee Vartan, called the report completely out of bounds. The Commission of Investigation, he said, lacks expertise in this area and fundamentally misunderstood the Bridgeton enterprise’s business model.

If Mr. Kamin is going before the Motor Vehicle Commission and he’s advocating ethically and legally, which he always was, Vartan said, and MVC agrees with him, then what did Mr. Kamin do wrong? Nothing.

Alleged abuse was not limited to the Bridgeton enterprise, the report said. For example, Alex Auto Sales Inc. based at a multi-dealer site in Warren County, bought cars at auction and shipped them overseas. Its financial transactions involved banks and institutions that federal prosecutors said had funded the Lebanese group Hezbollah, which the U.S. designates a terrorist organization.

The car dealer stopped working with Lebanese financial institutions in 2011 when he learned of a federal investigation into international used-car transactions, the report said.

Hamze Chehab, the dealer’s founder, told investigators that the Motor Vehicle Commission had never visited, inspected, or audited his office.

In a statement, the commission said it had worked diligently to evaluate the business practices of this industry and has drafted pending regulatory amendments geared toward tightening dealer practices.

The agency said it had performed more than 2,100 audits in multi-dealer complexes across the state, resulting in hundreds of proposed suspensions and warnings and $2.5 million in proposed fines.

The multi-dealer complexes are essentially warehouses and are not the multi-brand locations run by large car dealers. Operators rent space to dealers, many of them from out of state, and offer other services, such as helping them obtain New Jersey dealership licenses. The business model has been lucrative; with low overhead costs, the Bridgeton operator raked in more than $2.2 million annually in gross rent income from some 300 dealer-tenants as of this year, the report said.

Many of these complexes and dealer-tenants flout state regulations that require dealers or employees to be present at their licensed location and open for business for at least 20 hours a week, the report said. This was designed to help consumers and Motor Vehicle Commission staff, who show up unannounced to perform audits.

A 2006 regulation said absentee dealers could authorize a signatory, meant to be an employee or business partner, to represent them.

Lobbied by Kamin, the Motor Vehicle Commission reinterpreted signatory so New Jersey Dealers Auto Mall’s administrative staff could represent the tenant-dealers, investigators said.

Motor Vehicle workers told investigators that audits became difficult to conduct because the administrative staff was unfamiliar with the dealers’ paperwork.

Investigators said agency managers, lobbied by Kamin, eased compliance requirements for his client and told career staffers to green-light used-car dealer license applications that had been flagged for violations.

New Jersey Dealers Auto Mall has paid Kamin’s firm $295,000 since 2006, the report said.

Vartan, Kamin’s attorney, said investigators had failed to understand the regulatory framework. The dealers were not new or used car dealers, but rather wholesale dealers who buy cars at auction and sell them to used car dealerships.

However, state law does not provide for a wholesale license, so the tenants must apply for and comply with used car dealer licenses. Given this gap in regulation, the Motor Vehicle Commission chose to interpret its rules in a manner that was favorable to business, consistent with Christie’s executive order, Vartan said.

New Jersey, known for its lax oversight and enforcement, was a natural pick for these dealers to flourish, the report said. Regulators granted licenses to those who have been convicted for crimes such as money laundering, bank fraud and odometer tampering, the report said.

The Bridgeton property was acquired in the early 1990s by two brothers, Dennis and Steven Altman, who agreed to pay the city delinquent property taxes and utility bills owed by the abandoned site’s former owners, investigators said.

According to the testimony of Dennis Altman, his late brother’s boating business floundered. Steven Altman secured a loan from a friend, Louis Civello Sr. and gave Civello and his son control of Altman’s stake in the Bridgeton business in exchange for loan forgiveness, the report said.

The report said law enforcement in New York and a confidential source had identified Civello Sr. as a member and soldier of the Bonanno family.

Testifying before investigators, Civello asserted his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination and declined to respond to questions regarding his purported ties to organized crime. He denied playing any role in the Bridgeton business, saying it was owned and controlled by his son, the report said.

Civello Sr. was paid $169,400 between 2003 and 2007, the report said, and his wife earned $245,750 from 2003 to 2009.

Civello Jr. in an affidavit responding to the report, attacked Dennis Altman’s credibility. Civello Jr. said he had fired Altman after catching him stealing money. A jury awarded Civello Jr.’s company thousands of dollars in damages, he wrote in the affidavit.

At trial, Civello Jr. wrote, Altman blurted out, ‘I’m going to lie for my benefit.’ A judge also found that Altman had destroyed evidence that would have been detrimental to his case, Civello Jr. wrote. The report appears geared towards shaming my father for reaping the benefits of having raised me as an entrepreneurial son, he wrote.

In 2003, according to the report, the state police investigated the Bridgeton site and described it as a major conduit of car-sale fraud throughout the Northeast.

Three years later, the commission issued new rules, including the 20-hour-a-week business requirement. Yet problems persisted, the report said.

By 2015, the business was generating more than $2 million a year in rent. This revenue stream has been sustained in large measure by the dealers’ state-sanctioned ability to receive and retain viable New Jersey licenses, all the while flouting the letter and intent of New Jersey’s official licensing rules, the report said.

This occurred through aggressive lawyering, well-connected lobbying and the indulgence of government officials whose actions, and inaction, in response to outside pressure effectively neutered MVC’s enforcement of appropriate public laws and regulations and made elements of the agency a tool in service of a narrow private interest.



JPMorgan Chase – Co #jpmorgan #chase # # #co. #world #headquarters, #270 #park #ave, #нью-йорк, #ny, #270 #park #avenue,chase #corporate,j #p #morgan #chase,j.p. #morgan,j.p. #morgan #asset #management,j.p. #morgan #chase,j.p. #morgan #chase # # #co.,j.p. #morgan #chase #and #co.,j.p. #morgan #chase #headquarters,j.p. #morgan #chase #world #headquarters, #офис, #банк


#

JPMorgan Chase Co. World Headquarters

Jesse Yu The cafeteria is open from 7AM-2:30PM with a small break between breakfast and lunch. Starbucks is open from 6:30AM-5PM Июнь 11, 2013

Deborah Cardona I deplore your system. as your final agent after 5 or 6 said. Hate to say it but it s kind of like the Matrix! You can take it fast but long returning what isn t yours. Сентябрь 15, 2015

Irvin Sha Take the escalator to the basement and you can get to Grand Central without going outside. Good for rainy days. Август 12, 2011

Daniel Oon Best conference rooms on the 2nd floor. C-suite offices, 48th floor. Октябрь 14, 2013

Eric Sikora I created this checkin as world headquarters and inadvertently got modded some how either by internal branding or 4square themselves pretty funny stuff Сентябрь 7, 2012

vincent la vecchia Starbucks on the second floor with some nice places to sit down for a conversation or a performance review? Perhaps Май 10, 2012

Ben Lugavere If you look hard enough, you can always find free food somewhere! Март 21, 2014

Kyle McCullers Great conference space on the 2nd Floor. Март 24, 2012

Pike Oliver The 50th floor is an awesome meeting space Октябрь 14, 2011

Paul Jamel Go to 49th and Madison Starbucks good coffee Март 20, 2013

Sameer Virnodkar I received a mail with refrance your bank Октябрь 30, 2015

Andreas Cseh I am fine with my DBS account in Singapore Сентябрь 13, 2011

Andrew Curtis Make some trades. Wheel and deal a little Декабрь 15, 2010

Tony There will always someone here Апрель 2, 2010

Открыть все подсказки в приложении →

Связанные запросы

  • jpmorgan chase co. world headquarters нью-йорк 2017



Injury law #law #practice, #practice #areas, #paraplegic #lawsuit, #worker #injured, #injured #on #the #job, #senior #abused, #nursing #home #abuse, #trial #experience, #trial #lawyer, #trial #attorney, #cook, #barkett, #ponder, #wolz, #cbpw, #j. #michael #ponder, #j #michael #ponder, #mike #ponder, #michael #ponder, #john #cook, #phil #barket, #phil #barkett, #philip #barkett, #phillip #barkett, #philipp #barkett, #phillip #j. #barkett, #phillip #j. #barkett #jr., #kathleen #a. #wolz, #cook, #barkett, #ponder # # #wolz, #kathleen #wolz, #kathy #wolz, #mallory #gibson, #law #firm, #appeals, #court #of #appeals, #super #lawyers, #attorneys, #attorney, #attorneys #at #law, #cape #girardeau #law #firm, #cape #girardeau #attorney, #cape #girardeau #attorneys, #cape #girardeau #lawyer, #cape #girardeau #lawyers, #lawyer, #lawyers, #cape #law #firm, #cape #attorney, #cape #attorneys, #cape #lawyer, #cape #lawyers, #cape #girardeau, #mo #law #firm, #cape #girardeau, #mo #attorney, #cape #girardeau, #mo #attorneys, #cape #girardeau, #mo #lawyer, #cape #girardeau, #mo #lawyers, #southeast #missouri #law #firm, #southeast #missouri #attorney, #southeast #missouri #attorneys, #southeast #missouri #lawyer, #southeast #missouri #lawyers, #personal #injury, #personal #injury #attorney, #personal #injury #lawyer, #personal #injury #law #firm, #southeast #missouri #personal #injury, #southeast #missouri #personal #injury #attorney, #southeast #missouri, #personal #injury #lawyer, #southeast #missouri #personal #injury #law #firm, #car #wreck, #car #crash, #car #accident, #car #wreck #injury, #car #crash #injury, #car #accident #injury, #car #accident #attorney, #car #accident #lawyer, #car #accident #law #firm, #personal #injury #claim, #personal #injury #lawsuit, #car #accident #lawsuit, #car #crash #lawsuit, #car #wreck #lawsuit, #medical #lawsuit, #medical #accident, #medical #accident #claim, #medical #accident #injury, #medical #attorney, #medical #lawyer, #medical #accident #lawyer, #medical #accident #attorney, #medical #lawsuit, #doctor #mistake, #doctor #mistake #attorney, #doctor #mistake #lawsuit, #physician #mistake, #physician #mistake #attorney, #malpractice #attorney, #malpractice #law #firm, #malpractice #lawsuit, #hip #replacement #lawsuit, #semi #accident, #semi #truck #accident, #semi #truck #crash, #semi #truck #wreck, #big #truck #wreck, #big #truck #crash, #legal #claim, #legal #claims, #i #need #an #attorney, #i #need #a #personal #injury #attorney


#

PHILLIP J. BARKETT JR.

Partner

ATTORNEYS

J. MICHAEL PONDER

Partner

Matthew D. Glenn

Partner

KATHLEEN A. WOLZ

Partner

AUTOMOBILE TRUCK CASES

PRACTICE

AREAS

PERSONAL INJURY WRONGFUL DEATH

DEFFECTIVE PRODUCTS

NURSING HOME NEGLECT MEDICAL NEGLIGENCE

CLASS ACTIONS

VERDICTS

TESTIMONIALS

RESOURCES

PRESS RELEASES

CRUISE CONTROL

Are you more likely to be in a collision at certain times? Read >

Does your location put you at higher risk for a crash? Read >

Our Commitment to Privacy

Your privacy is important to Cook, Barkett, Ponder Wolz. This Privacy Policy applies to the website and to all who visit the website.

Information We Collect:

When you visit cbpw-law.com, an analytics program collects non-personally-identifying information, including the following:

• The date and time you visited our website

• The type of domain from which you accessed the Internet (i.e. com. net. org)

• The website’s files and web pages you requested during your visit

The website analytics program used by Cook, Barkett, Ponder Wolz measures the number of visitors to our website and the page links our visitors use. Cook, Barkett, Ponder Wolz uses this information to collect data in order to make the website more useful to our visitors.

The only personally-identifying information collected via this website is the information which the visitor knowingly provides either through an email message or the site’s contact form. That information is used by Cook, Barkett, Ponder Wolz only when the visitor asks for a response with specific information. Email messages and contact form messages to Cook, Barkett, Ponder Wolz should not contain confidential or sensitive information as the website and its email are neither encrypted nor secure.

Neither visiting this website nor exchanging email with Cook, Barkett, Ponder Wolz will create an attorney-client relationship and will not be covered by the rule of law that protects the confidentiality of communication between client and attorney.

Cook, Barkett, Ponder Wolz does not share, rent, or sell information about its visitors, including email addresses, to third parties.

If you have questions or concerns about this Privacy Policy, you are invited to contact Cook, Barkett, Ponder Wolz online or by telephone at 573-335-6651.

The legal information provided on this site is believed, but not guaranteed, to be accurate and current and is intended to educate visitors about selected aspects of Missouri law, as it impacts Missouri residents. The legal information is summary in nature and does not constitute individualized legal advice upon which site visitors may rely. Because every situation involves different facts, site visitors should consult with an attorney for individualized legal advice and neither take nor refrain from taking action based on materials found here. The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based soley on advertisements.

U.S. residents in states other than Missouri should be aware that while certain legal principles outlined on this site may be similar to principles followed in their own states, laws can vary considerably from state to state. Site visitors from foreign countries should be aware that the laws in their country may differ very substantially from the information provided here. Therefore, legal information and/or specific advice should always be obtained from a local source.

Neither visiting this site nor exchanging email with Cook, Barkett, Ponder Wolz will create an attorney-client relationship. Cook, Barkett, Ponder Wolz will enter into such a relationship only after meeting with a client, ensuring that no conflict-of-interest exists, and mutually agreeing on essential matters, including scope of representation and fee/expense arrangements. Until we have entered into an attorney-client relationship, any communications to us by a prospective client will not be covered by the rule of law that protects the confidentiality of communications between a client and attorney.

We will endeavor to respond promptly to email, but we will neither accept requests for nor provide specific legal advice by email except to established clients. Both site visitors and established clients should be aware that:

Internet communications including email to or from Cook, Barkett, Ponder Wolz should be considered non-secure and should not be considered confidential.

The Rules of Professional Conduct promulgated by the Missouri Supreme Court require that if a lawyer initiates written communication with persons known to need legal services of the kind provided by a lawyer in a particular matter, the following statement be included in conspicuous print. Although it is unlikely that visitors to this site will be visiting under the circumstances envisioned in the rule, we prefer to err on the side of caution and therefore include this statement: ADVERTISING MATERIAL: COMMERCIAL SOLICITATIONS ARE PERMITTED BY THE MISSOURI RULES OF PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT BUT ARE NEITHER SUBMITTED TO NOR APPROVED BY THE MISSOURI BAR OR THE SUPREME COURT OF MISSOURI.

The laws of other states regarding attorney communications may differ from Missouri’s. If the materials on this site do not comply with the laws of another state from which a client seeks legal representation as a result of communications on this site, we will not accept that representation.



Report: N. J. s used-car industry rife with abuse #nationwide #car #insurance


#car dealers
#

Report: N.J.’s used-car industry rife with abuse

Andrew Seidman Inquirer Trenton Bureau Last updated: Thursday, December 3, 2015, 11:59 PM Posted: Wednesday, December 2, 2015, 11:03 AM

New Jersey’s motor vehicle regulator has enabled hundreds of used-car dealers to operate beyond government oversight and perpetrate consumer fraud for years, according to a state report released Wednesday.

The 18-month investigation by the State Commission of Investigation opens a window into the obscure world of multi-dealer complexes or locations. It alleges that some of them have ties to organized crime and a group the U.S. considers a terrorist organization.

Subjects of the investigation immediately hit back, rejecting the commission’s conclusions and arguing that the state Motor Vehicle Commission had properly interpreted its rules in accordance with one of Gov. Christie’s first executive orders.

The 11 multi-dealer complexes in New Jersey occupy a loosely regulated niche framed by a history of weak and inconsistent enforcement, aggressive legal challenges, and bureaucratic receptiveness to behind-the-scenes pressure from Trenton lobbyists, said the 178-page report.

Collectively, the dealer-complexes owe about $10 million in unpaid taxes, the report said.

In one case, customers complained of paying money but not receiving their vehicles and purchasing cars that turned out to have severe defects, investigators said.

More coverage

The independent fact-finding agency referred its findings to state and federal law enforcement authorities and sent recommendations on improving oversight to Christie and the Legislature.

The report, titled Gaming the System: Abuse and Influence Peddling in New Jersey’s Used-Car Industry, describes the Motor Vehicle Commission as a hapless organization co-opted by narrow private interests, including an individual who owns a sham multi-dealer complex in Bridgeton, Cumberland County, with ties to the Bonanno organized crime family.

It’s fiction, Louis Civello Jr. owner of the Bridgeton-based New Jersey Dealers Auto Mall, said. It’s made up.

Lobbying on the Dealers Auto Mall’s behalf was C. Richard Kamin, a partner with MBI-GluckShaw and former director of the Motor Vehicle Commission’s precursor, the Division of Motor Vehicles. Kamin is also a former Republican assemblyman.

In an interview Wednesday, Kamin’s attorney, Lee Vartan, called the report completely out of bounds. The Commission of Investigation, he said, lacks expertise in this area and fundamentally misunderstood the Bridgeton enterprise’s business model.

If Mr. Kamin is going before the Motor Vehicle Commission and he’s advocating ethically and legally, which he always was, Vartan said, and MVC agrees with him, then what did Mr. Kamin do wrong? Nothing.

Alleged abuse was not limited to the Bridgeton enterprise, the report said. For example, Alex Auto Sales Inc. based at a multi-dealer site in Warren County, bought cars at auction and shipped them overseas. Its financial transactions involved banks and institutions that federal prosecutors said had funded the Lebanese group Hezbollah, which the U.S. designates a terrorist organization.

The car dealer stopped working with Lebanese financial institutions in 2011 when he learned of a federal investigation into international used-car transactions, the report said.

Hamze Chehab, the dealer’s founder, told investigators that the Motor Vehicle Commission had never visited, inspected, or audited his office.

In a statement, the commission said it had worked diligently to evaluate the business practices of this industry and has drafted pending regulatory amendments geared toward tightening dealer practices.

The agency said it had performed more than 2,100 audits in multi-dealer complexes across the state, resulting in hundreds of proposed suspensions and warnings and $2.5 million in proposed fines.

The multi-dealer complexes are essentially warehouses and are not the multi-brand locations run by large car dealers. Operators rent space to dealers, many of them from out of state, and offer other services, such as helping them obtain New Jersey dealership licenses. The business model has been lucrative; with low overhead costs, the Bridgeton operator raked in more than $2.2 million annually in gross rent income from some 300 dealer-tenants as of this year, the report said.

Many of these complexes and dealer-tenants flout state regulations that require dealers or employees to be present at their licensed location and open for business for at least 20 hours a week, the report said. This was designed to help consumers and Motor Vehicle Commission staff, who show up unannounced to perform audits.

A 2006 regulation said absentee dealers could authorize a signatory, meant to be an employee or business partner, to represent them.

Lobbied by Kamin, the Motor Vehicle Commission reinterpreted signatory so New Jersey Dealers Auto Mall’s administrative staff could represent the tenant-dealers, investigators said.

Motor Vehicle workers told investigators that audits became difficult to conduct because the administrative staff was unfamiliar with the dealers’ paperwork.

Investigators said agency managers, lobbied by Kamin, eased compliance requirements for his client and told career staffers to green-light used-car dealer license applications that had been flagged for violations.

New Jersey Dealers Auto Mall has paid Kamin’s firm $295,000 since 2006, the report said.

Vartan, Kamin’s attorney, said investigators had failed to understand the regulatory framework. The dealers were not new or used car dealers, but rather wholesale dealers who buy cars at auction and sell them to used car dealerships.

However, state law does not provide for a wholesale license, so the tenants must apply for and comply with used car dealer licenses. Given this gap in regulation, the Motor Vehicle Commission chose to interpret its rules in a manner that was favorable to business, consistent with Christie’s executive order, Vartan said.

New Jersey, known for its lax oversight and enforcement, was a natural pick for these dealers to flourish, the report said. Regulators granted licenses to those who have been convicted for crimes such as money laundering, bank fraud and odometer tampering, the report said.

The Bridgeton property was acquired in the early 1990s by two brothers, Dennis and Steven Altman, who agreed to pay the city delinquent property taxes and utility bills owed by the abandoned site’s former owners, investigators said.

According to the testimony of Dennis Altman, his late brother’s boating business floundered. Steven Altman secured a loan from a friend, Louis Civello Sr. and gave Civello and his son control of Altman’s stake in the Bridgeton business in exchange for loan forgiveness, the report said.

The report said law enforcement in New York and a confidential source had identified Civello Sr. as a member and soldier of the Bonanno family.

Testifying before investigators, Civello asserted his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination and declined to respond to questions regarding his purported ties to organized crime. He denied playing any role in the Bridgeton business, saying it was owned and controlled by his son, the report said.

Civello Sr. was paid $169,400 between 2003 and 2007, the report said, and his wife earned $245,750 from 2003 to 2009.

Civello Jr. in an affidavit responding to the report, attacked Dennis Altman’s credibility. Civello Jr. said he had fired Altman after catching him stealing money. A jury awarded Civello Jr.’s company thousands of dollars in damages, he wrote in the affidavit.

At trial, Civello Jr. wrote, Altman blurted out, ‘I’m going to lie for my benefit.’ A judge also found that Altman had destroyed evidence that would have been detrimental to his case, Civello Jr. wrote. The report appears geared towards shaming my father for reaping the benefits of having raised me as an entrepreneurial son, he wrote.

In 2003, according to the report, the state police investigated the Bridgeton site and described it as a major conduit of car-sale fraud throughout the Northeast.

Three years later, the commission issued new rules, including the 20-hour-a-week business requirement. Yet problems persisted, the report said.

By 2015, the business was generating more than $2 million a year in rent. This revenue stream has been sustained in large measure by the dealers’ state-sanctioned ability to receive and retain viable New Jersey licenses, all the while flouting the letter and intent of New Jersey’s official licensing rules, the report said.

This occurred through aggressive lawyering, well-connected lobbying and the indulgence of government officials whose actions, and inaction, in response to outside pressure effectively neutered MVC’s enforcement of appropriate public laws and regulations and made elements of the agency a tool in service of a narrow private interest.



Classic Muscle Cars For Sale From P. J. s Auto World Inc. #car #carriers


#cars for
#

Welcome to P.J.’s Auto World Inc. a place of memories and dreams, past and future. For 30 years, P.J.’s Auto World Inc. has provided special interest vehicles to very special people all over the world!

Located in beautiful downtown Clearwater, Florida, USA, P.J.’s offers visitors a chance to stroll down Memory Lane with spacious showrooms featuring over 150 Classic, Muscle, and Collectible Cars from the 1920s and up. Camaros, Chevelles and Mustangs sit gleaming beside Corvettes, GTOs, Road Runners and Olds 442s, each waiting for a new owner to relive a memory or create a new adventure!

P.J.’s Auto World offers a wide range of services that include selling, consigning, locating, financing, and shipping worldwide. With as little as 20 percent down and low interest rates, just about anyone can make their dream a reality! And, shipping is also easily arranged at a very modest cost.

Classic and Muscle Cars are fun to own and drive! The remarkable thing about purchasing a Classic, Convertible, or Collectible vehicle is that unlike many late model vehicles that tend to quickly depreciate, Classics are rapidly appreciating between 15 and 25 percent annually! Several leading financial articles suggest Americans should invest in Real Estate and Classic Cars, as they’re not making more of either ! In 2003, P.J.’s expanded to better serve their customers and opened a second Classic Car Showroom also located in Clearwater, Florida.

P.J.’s Auto World has an excellent selection of vehicles available from an ever changing inventory, featuring thoroughbred sports cars, classic convertibles, vintage collectibles, and fun to drive automobiles for all tastes. Should your needs be for a late model vehicle? We can provide everything from utility to luxury automobiles, domestic and imported vehicles.

P.J.’s Auto World offers visitors and Classic Enthusiasts a chance to step back in time, and walk down memory lane. Visit us, and you will see why we are the Classic Car store built on old fashioned values. Until then. Happy Cruising!



Report: N. J. s used-car industry rife with abuse #car #used #for #sale


#car dealers
#

Report: N.J.’s used-car industry rife with abuse

Andrew Seidman Inquirer Trenton Bureau Last updated: Thursday, December 3, 2015, 11:59 PM Posted: Wednesday, December 2, 2015, 11:03 AM

New Jersey’s motor vehicle regulator has enabled hundreds of used-car dealers to operate beyond government oversight and perpetrate consumer fraud for years, according to a state report released Wednesday.

The 18-month investigation by the State Commission of Investigation opens a window into the obscure world of multi-dealer complexes or locations. It alleges that some of them have ties to organized crime and a group the U.S. considers a terrorist organization.

Subjects of the investigation immediately hit back, rejecting the commission’s conclusions and arguing that the state Motor Vehicle Commission had properly interpreted its rules in accordance with one of Gov. Christie’s first executive orders.

The 11 multi-dealer complexes in New Jersey occupy a loosely regulated niche framed by a history of weak and inconsistent enforcement, aggressive legal challenges, and bureaucratic receptiveness to behind-the-scenes pressure from Trenton lobbyists, said the 178-page report.

Collectively, the dealer-complexes owe about $10 million in unpaid taxes, the report said.

In one case, customers complained of paying money but not receiving their vehicles and purchasing cars that turned out to have severe defects, investigators said.

More coverage

The independent fact-finding agency referred its findings to state and federal law enforcement authorities and sent recommendations on improving oversight to Christie and the Legislature.

The report, titled Gaming the System: Abuse and Influence Peddling in New Jersey’s Used-Car Industry, describes the Motor Vehicle Commission as a hapless organization co-opted by narrow private interests, including an individual who owns a sham multi-dealer complex in Bridgeton, Cumberland County, with ties to the Bonanno organized crime family.

It’s fiction, Louis Civello Jr. owner of the Bridgeton-based New Jersey Dealers Auto Mall, said. It’s made up.

Lobbying on the Dealers Auto Mall’s behalf was C. Richard Kamin, a partner with MBI-GluckShaw and former director of the Motor Vehicle Commission’s precursor, the Division of Motor Vehicles. Kamin is also a former Republican assemblyman.

In an interview Wednesday, Kamin’s attorney, Lee Vartan, called the report completely out of bounds. The Commission of Investigation, he said, lacks expertise in this area and fundamentally misunderstood the Bridgeton enterprise’s business model.

If Mr. Kamin is going before the Motor Vehicle Commission and he’s advocating ethically and legally, which he always was, Vartan said, and MVC agrees with him, then what did Mr. Kamin do wrong? Nothing.

Alleged abuse was not limited to the Bridgeton enterprise, the report said. For example, Alex Auto Sales Inc. based at a multi-dealer site in Warren County, bought cars at auction and shipped them overseas. Its financial transactions involved banks and institutions that federal prosecutors said had funded the Lebanese group Hezbollah, which the U.S. designates a terrorist organization.

The car dealer stopped working with Lebanese financial institutions in 2011 when he learned of a federal investigation into international used-car transactions, the report said.

Hamze Chehab, the dealer’s founder, told investigators that the Motor Vehicle Commission had never visited, inspected, or audited his office.

In a statement, the commission said it had worked diligently to evaluate the business practices of this industry and has drafted pending regulatory amendments geared toward tightening dealer practices.

The agency said it had performed more than 2,100 audits in multi-dealer complexes across the state, resulting in hundreds of proposed suspensions and warnings and $2.5 million in proposed fines.

The multi-dealer complexes are essentially warehouses and are not the multi-brand locations run by large car dealers. Operators rent space to dealers, many of them from out of state, and offer other services, such as helping them obtain New Jersey dealership licenses. The business model has been lucrative; with low overhead costs, the Bridgeton operator raked in more than $2.2 million annually in gross rent income from some 300 dealer-tenants as of this year, the report said.

Many of these complexes and dealer-tenants flout state regulations that require dealers or employees to be present at their licensed location and open for business for at least 20 hours a week, the report said. This was designed to help consumers and Motor Vehicle Commission staff, who show up unannounced to perform audits.

A 2006 regulation said absentee dealers could authorize a signatory, meant to be an employee or business partner, to represent them.

Lobbied by Kamin, the Motor Vehicle Commission reinterpreted signatory so New Jersey Dealers Auto Mall’s administrative staff could represent the tenant-dealers, investigators said.

Motor Vehicle workers told investigators that audits became difficult to conduct because the administrative staff was unfamiliar with the dealers’ paperwork.

Investigators said agency managers, lobbied by Kamin, eased compliance requirements for his client and told career staffers to green-light used-car dealer license applications that had been flagged for violations.

New Jersey Dealers Auto Mall has paid Kamin’s firm $295,000 since 2006, the report said.

Vartan, Kamin’s attorney, said investigators had failed to understand the regulatory framework. The dealers were not new or used car dealers, but rather wholesale dealers who buy cars at auction and sell them to used car dealerships.

However, state law does not provide for a wholesale license, so the tenants must apply for and comply with used car dealer licenses. Given this gap in regulation, the Motor Vehicle Commission chose to interpret its rules in a manner that was favorable to business, consistent with Christie’s executive order, Vartan said.

New Jersey, known for its lax oversight and enforcement, was a natural pick for these dealers to flourish, the report said. Regulators granted licenses to those who have been convicted for crimes such as money laundering, bank fraud and odometer tampering, the report said.

The Bridgeton property was acquired in the early 1990s by two brothers, Dennis and Steven Altman, who agreed to pay the city delinquent property taxes and utility bills owed by the abandoned site’s former owners, investigators said.

According to the testimony of Dennis Altman, his late brother’s boating business floundered. Steven Altman secured a loan from a friend, Louis Civello Sr. and gave Civello and his son control of Altman’s stake in the Bridgeton business in exchange for loan forgiveness, the report said.

The report said law enforcement in New York and a confidential source had identified Civello Sr. as a member and soldier of the Bonanno family.

Testifying before investigators, Civello asserted his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination and declined to respond to questions regarding his purported ties to organized crime. He denied playing any role in the Bridgeton business, saying it was owned and controlled by his son, the report said.

Civello Sr. was paid $169,400 between 2003 and 2007, the report said, and his wife earned $245,750 from 2003 to 2009.

Civello Jr. in an affidavit responding to the report, attacked Dennis Altman’s credibility. Civello Jr. said he had fired Altman after catching him stealing money. A jury awarded Civello Jr.’s company thousands of dollars in damages, he wrote in the affidavit.

At trial, Civello Jr. wrote, Altman blurted out, ‘I’m going to lie for my benefit.’ A judge also found that Altman had destroyed evidence that would have been detrimental to his case, Civello Jr. wrote. The report appears geared towards shaming my father for reaping the benefits of having raised me as an entrepreneurial son, he wrote.

In 2003, according to the report, the state police investigated the Bridgeton site and described it as a major conduit of car-sale fraud throughout the Northeast.

Three years later, the commission issued new rules, including the 20-hour-a-week business requirement. Yet problems persisted, the report said.

By 2015, the business was generating more than $2 million a year in rent. This revenue stream has been sustained in large measure by the dealers’ state-sanctioned ability to receive and retain viable New Jersey licenses, all the while flouting the letter and intent of New Jersey’s official licensing rules, the report said.

This occurred through aggressive lawyering, well-connected lobbying and the indulgence of government officials whose actions, and inaction, in response to outside pressure effectively neutered MVC’s enforcement of appropriate public laws and regulations and made elements of the agency a tool in service of a narrow private interest.



Report: N. J. s used-car industry rife with abuse #car #window #stickers


#car dealers
#

Report: N.J.’s used-car industry rife with abuse

Andrew Seidman Inquirer Trenton Bureau Last updated: Thursday, December 3, 2015, 11:59 PM Posted: Wednesday, December 2, 2015, 11:03 AM

New Jersey’s motor vehicle regulator has enabled hundreds of used-car dealers to operate beyond government oversight and perpetrate consumer fraud for years, according to a state report released Wednesday.

The 18-month investigation by the State Commission of Investigation opens a window into the obscure world of multi-dealer complexes or locations. It alleges that some of them have ties to organized crime and a group the U.S. considers a terrorist organization.

Subjects of the investigation immediately hit back, rejecting the commission’s conclusions and arguing that the state Motor Vehicle Commission had properly interpreted its rules in accordance with one of Gov. Christie’s first executive orders.

The 11 multi-dealer complexes in New Jersey occupy a loosely regulated niche framed by a history of weak and inconsistent enforcement, aggressive legal challenges, and bureaucratic receptiveness to behind-the-scenes pressure from Trenton lobbyists, said the 178-page report.

Collectively, the dealer-complexes owe about $10 million in unpaid taxes, the report said.

In one case, customers complained of paying money but not receiving their vehicles and purchasing cars that turned out to have severe defects, investigators said.

More coverage

The independent fact-finding agency referred its findings to state and federal law enforcement authorities and sent recommendations on improving oversight to Christie and the Legislature.

The report, titled Gaming the System: Abuse and Influence Peddling in New Jersey’s Used-Car Industry, describes the Motor Vehicle Commission as a hapless organization co-opted by narrow private interests, including an individual who owns a sham multi-dealer complex in Bridgeton, Cumberland County, with ties to the Bonanno organized crime family.

It’s fiction, Louis Civello Jr. owner of the Bridgeton-based New Jersey Dealers Auto Mall, said. It’s made up.

Lobbying on the Dealers Auto Mall’s behalf was C. Richard Kamin, a partner with MBI-GluckShaw and former director of the Motor Vehicle Commission’s precursor, the Division of Motor Vehicles. Kamin is also a former Republican assemblyman.

In an interview Wednesday, Kamin’s attorney, Lee Vartan, called the report completely out of bounds. The Commission of Investigation, he said, lacks expertise in this area and fundamentally misunderstood the Bridgeton enterprise’s business model.

If Mr. Kamin is going before the Motor Vehicle Commission and he’s advocating ethically and legally, which he always was, Vartan said, and MVC agrees with him, then what did Mr. Kamin do wrong? Nothing.

Alleged abuse was not limited to the Bridgeton enterprise, the report said. For example, Alex Auto Sales Inc. based at a multi-dealer site in Warren County, bought cars at auction and shipped them overseas. Its financial transactions involved banks and institutions that federal prosecutors said had funded the Lebanese group Hezbollah, which the U.S. designates a terrorist organization.

The car dealer stopped working with Lebanese financial institutions in 2011 when he learned of a federal investigation into international used-car transactions, the report said.

Hamze Chehab, the dealer’s founder, told investigators that the Motor Vehicle Commission had never visited, inspected, or audited his office.

In a statement, the commission said it had worked diligently to evaluate the business practices of this industry and has drafted pending regulatory amendments geared toward tightening dealer practices.

The agency said it had performed more than 2,100 audits in multi-dealer complexes across the state, resulting in hundreds of proposed suspensions and warnings and $2.5 million in proposed fines.

The multi-dealer complexes are essentially warehouses and are not the multi-brand locations run by large car dealers. Operators rent space to dealers, many of them from out of state, and offer other services, such as helping them obtain New Jersey dealership licenses. The business model has been lucrative; with low overhead costs, the Bridgeton operator raked in more than $2.2 million annually in gross rent income from some 300 dealer-tenants as of this year, the report said.

Many of these complexes and dealer-tenants flout state regulations that require dealers or employees to be present at their licensed location and open for business for at least 20 hours a week, the report said. This was designed to help consumers and Motor Vehicle Commission staff, who show up unannounced to perform audits.

A 2006 regulation said absentee dealers could authorize a signatory, meant to be an employee or business partner, to represent them.

Lobbied by Kamin, the Motor Vehicle Commission reinterpreted signatory so New Jersey Dealers Auto Mall’s administrative staff could represent the tenant-dealers, investigators said.

Motor Vehicle workers told investigators that audits became difficult to conduct because the administrative staff was unfamiliar with the dealers’ paperwork.

Investigators said agency managers, lobbied by Kamin, eased compliance requirements for his client and told career staffers to green-light used-car dealer license applications that had been flagged for violations.

New Jersey Dealers Auto Mall has paid Kamin’s firm $295,000 since 2006, the report said.

Vartan, Kamin’s attorney, said investigators had failed to understand the regulatory framework. The dealers were not new or used car dealers, but rather wholesale dealers who buy cars at auction and sell them to used car dealerships.

However, state law does not provide for a wholesale license, so the tenants must apply for and comply with used car dealer licenses. Given this gap in regulation, the Motor Vehicle Commission chose to interpret its rules in a manner that was favorable to business, consistent with Christie’s executive order, Vartan said.

New Jersey, known for its lax oversight and enforcement, was a natural pick for these dealers to flourish, the report said. Regulators granted licenses to those who have been convicted for crimes such as money laundering, bank fraud and odometer tampering, the report said.

The Bridgeton property was acquired in the early 1990s by two brothers, Dennis and Steven Altman, who agreed to pay the city delinquent property taxes and utility bills owed by the abandoned site’s former owners, investigators said.

According to the testimony of Dennis Altman, his late brother’s boating business floundered. Steven Altman secured a loan from a friend, Louis Civello Sr. and gave Civello and his son control of Altman’s stake in the Bridgeton business in exchange for loan forgiveness, the report said.

The report said law enforcement in New York and a confidential source had identified Civello Sr. as a member and soldier of the Bonanno family.

Testifying before investigators, Civello asserted his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination and declined to respond to questions regarding his purported ties to organized crime. He denied playing any role in the Bridgeton business, saying it was owned and controlled by his son, the report said.

Civello Sr. was paid $169,400 between 2003 and 2007, the report said, and his wife earned $245,750 from 2003 to 2009.

Civello Jr. in an affidavit responding to the report, attacked Dennis Altman’s credibility. Civello Jr. said he had fired Altman after catching him stealing money. A jury awarded Civello Jr.’s company thousands of dollars in damages, he wrote in the affidavit.

At trial, Civello Jr. wrote, Altman blurted out, ‘I’m going to lie for my benefit.’ A judge also found that Altman had destroyed evidence that would have been detrimental to his case, Civello Jr. wrote. The report appears geared towards shaming my father for reaping the benefits of having raised me as an entrepreneurial son, he wrote.

In 2003, according to the report, the state police investigated the Bridgeton site and described it as a major conduit of car-sale fraud throughout the Northeast.

Three years later, the commission issued new rules, including the 20-hour-a-week business requirement. Yet problems persisted, the report said.

By 2015, the business was generating more than $2 million a year in rent. This revenue stream has been sustained in large measure by the dealers’ state-sanctioned ability to receive and retain viable New Jersey licenses, all the while flouting the letter and intent of New Jersey’s official licensing rules, the report said.

This occurred through aggressive lawyering, well-connected lobbying and the indulgence of government officials whose actions, and inaction, in response to outside pressure effectively neutered MVC’s enforcement of appropriate public laws and regulations and made elements of the agency a tool in service of a narrow private interest.