Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Universal Auto World luxury used-vehicle dealership in Long Island, New York was closed amid fraud charges and an unsolved murder in June 2007, the co-owners were Michael Oshry, Pamela Geller (Oshry) and Christ Tsiropoulous, of Bellmore . The fraud was discovered during the investigation of the murder of Universal salesman Collin Thomas. Investigators have discovered that Universal employees paid straw purchasers with good credit to sign loan documents for more than $1.3 million worth of luxury vehicles.
The Luxury used car scam appears to have been going full bore through at least 2005 and 2006 up until the day Collin Thomas was murdered, 1/11/2007, by a single shot to the back as he was closing up Universal Auto World.
Jan 11th, 2007..North Lawrence, NY – The day after one of the top salesmen at a North Lawrence car dealership was shot dead, detectives Friday said they had no motive or suspect in the killing. Nassau police said Collin Thomas, 27, of Jamaica, Queens, was shot once in the back about 8:50 p.m. Thursday, shortly before he was to help close Universal Auto World on Burnside Avenue.
Investigators combed the site for clues Friday, cordoning off the entire block with tape and allowing canine units to sniff the fleet of pre-owned luxury cars and sport utility vehicles. “At this point in time, our investigation is in its infancy stages,” said Det. Lt. Michael Fleming, commander of the homicide squad, who said relatives and friend of Thomas were interviewed Friday. “We do know he was shot once in the back. That was a fatal shot.”
See Fox News Video…UNIVERSAL AUTO WORLD LONG ISLAND NY RAIDED BY COPS PAMELA GELLER WAS A CO-OWNER OF CAR LOT. As part of the homicide probe, Nassau County police raided the Universal Auto World dealership, owned by auto czar Michael Oshry, and Oshry’s Hewlett Harbor home (in early 2007) and seized business records. Cops found banking records were sent to the house, though the state requires such files be kept at businesses, according to court papers filed in a civil forfeiture action by the Nassau district attorney. “The dealership knew what was going on,” an investigator said.
Collin Thomas, the salesman at Universal Auto World, was shot to death on Jan. 11, 2007 outside the luxury used-vehicle dealership on Long Island, police quickly searched his showroom desk for clues. Police found notebooks in Collin Thomas’ desk that listed sales of 20 luxury cars to six buyers. One of the buyers signed loan documents for seven of the cars, all through different banks, court records say.… The slaying of the 27-year-old salesman remains unsolved. But investigators say the search yielded evidence of an alleged million-dollar fraud scheme at the Lawrence, N.Y., dealership, which was closed down.
According to a civil forfeiture lawsuit filed by Nassau County’s district attorney, Universal employees paid straw purchasers with good credit to sign loan documents for more than $1.3 million worth of luxury vehicles. Those vehicles, the New York Post reported, included Maseratis, Aston Martins and other $100,000-plus models. The employees sold or transferred the cars to buyers, drug dealers and underworld types, who did not want their names to appear on the loan papers, investigators allege. The New York Post quoted an unidentified investigator as saying “the dealership knew what was going on.”
Police say car salesmen Dexter Bostic and Robert Ellis, who were convicted of murdering NYPD Detective Russel Timoshenko, were involved with the car scam. Bostic worked as a car salesman at nearby Five Towns Mitsubishi, which once employed the slain salesman Collin Thomas. Ellis, who lived with Bostic, also may have once worked at Five Towns with Collin Thomas. In January 2007, car salesman Collin Thomas was shot outside the showroom of Universal Auto World in Lawrence, Long Island, which is near by the Mitsubishi dealership. The investigation of that shooting led Nassau County and NYPD detectives to uncover what they call a multi-million-dollar hustle of cars being financed and sold using phony IDs. Bostick, Ellis, and Woods are being looked at in connection with that.
Eyewitness News is told the investigation stemmed from the January 2007 murder of Colin Thomas, a car salesman at Universal Auto World in Lawrence. Thomas, a father of two, was shot in the back outside the showroom of Universal Auto World as he closed up for the night on Jan. 11, 2007, possibly by Bostic or Ellis. Collin Thomas appears to have been in the process of blowing the whistle on the car scam at Universal Auto World. The million-dollar scam wasr allegedly run by Rajmohan Autar and William White, both Universal Auto World employees, who used stolen identities to buy luxury cars.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008 The results of a year-and-a-half-long investigation into two Five Towns used-car dealerships were announced Wednesday by Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice and members of the Nassau County Police Department’s Homicide, 4th Precinct, and Crimes Against Property squads, who were assisted by the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles. The investigation began as a homicide investigation and eventually uncovered a tangled web of financial schemes that have resulted in stolen identities and dozens of “mystery” owners driving high-end automobiles on New York streets and fraud against used-car customers.
The investigation into the dealership began with the January 11, 2007 murder of Collin Thomas, a 27-year-old salesman at Universal Auto World. Thomas was shot in the back while standing outside Universal’s offices late on a Thursday night. The subsequent investigation by the Nassau County Police Department’s Homicide Squad uncovered numerous instances of potential financial fraud at the dealership. A joint investigation with the DA’s Economic Crimes Bureau, the Police Department’s Crimes Against Property Squad, and detectives from the department’s 4th Precinct and NYS DMV has now revealed numerous instances of alleged financial impropriety, including the filing of bogus financial paperwork, identify theft, and grand larceny.
Bill Warner Private Investigator, SEX, CRIME, CHEATERS & TERRORISM at www.wbipi.com