Nassau County, NY - June 29, 2015 - Acting Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas announced the indictment today of a Freeport man who is charged with stealing almost $400,000 from numerous customers and three Long Island auto dealerships where he worked as a used car salesman.
“People spending money in Nassau County should have the confidence that they won’t get entangled in fraudulent schemes like these,” Acting DA Singas said. “When a salesperson does act unscrupulously and the matter cannot be resolved directly, the DA’s Office and the Police Department will do as we did here and investigate and prosecute the case aggressively.”
Michael McGriff, 41, of Freeport, was arraigned on the following grand jury indictment charges today:
• Grand Larceny in the 2nd Degree (a C felony)
• Seven counts of Grand Larceny in the 3rd Degree (a D felony)
• Identity Theft in the 1st Degree (a D felony)
• Four counts of Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the 2nd Degree (a D felony)
• Three counts of Scheme to Defraud in the 1st Degree (an E felony)
• 12 counts of Falsifying Business Records in the 1st Degree (an E felony)
• Three counts of Making a False Statement of Credit Terms (an A misdemeanor)
Acting Supreme Court Justice Jerald Carter held McGriff without bail and ordered him back to court on July 15. If convicted of the top charge, McGriff faces a maximum of five to 15 years in prison.
Acting DA Singas said that McGriff defrauded at least 17 customers, as well as three auto dealerships where he worked between 2009 and 2013, out of approximately $381,846 through various schemes. In one type of scheme committed against customers at Lexus of Rockville Centre and Port Motors Lincoln Mercury in Roslyn, McGriff is accused of collecting down payments for used cars from customers and pocketing the cash instead of remitting the payments to the dealership, and having the unsuspecting customers make up for the loss by signing finance contracts that did not reflect the down payments. Customers were left with having to pay higher than expected monthly payments.
In another type of scheme committed against Port Motors Lincoln Mercury and its customers between April 2012 and April 2013, McGriff collected cash payment in full for used cars from customers who found out months later that McGriff had caused forged finance contracts to be generated and filed with multiple banks for auto loans that the customers never authorized. Some customers had their vehicles repossessed by the deceived banks when the customers refused to pay for the illegitimate, fraudulently obtained loans.
McGriff is also charged with using, in August 2014, the alias Michael Glenn and representing that he was affiliated with Titanium Auto Group in Uniondale, which could not be found by the customer, only to abscond with $12,900 in cash he received from a Valley Stream resident for the purpose of purchasing a car at auction for the victim.
McGriff has been the subject of investigations, both separately and jointly, by the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office and the Nassau County Police Department’s Crimes Against Property Squad.
Assistant District Attorneys Matthew Sotirhos and April Montgomery of Acting DA Singas’ Economic Crimes Bureau are prosecuting the case. McGriff is represented by Donald T. Rollock, Esq.
The charges are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless found guilty.