Local news stories affecting the auto body industry in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Connecticut, Maryland, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine
A former Acura dealership employee who stole $10.2 million from the Pittsburgh-area store where she worked could face six years in prison, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.
In March, Patricia K. Smith, the former controller of Baierl Acura in Pine, Pa., pleaded guilty to wire fraud charges that included stealing $10.2 million over more than six years. She transferred money from Baierl to her own accounts more than 800 times from 2004 through 2011, according to the Post-Gazette.
Two University of Rhode Island undergraduates invested their own money to buy 12 Dumpsters, and Scrap Specialists Recycling was born. Their enterprise operates out of 386 South Pier Road, and saves several automotive businesses hundreds of dollars every month by properly disposing of their recyclables — for free.
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Gather your old car parts, used motor oil, batteries, mercury switches and even old child car seats and bring it to Shade Tree Garage. The Morristown auto repair shop is one of the few in the area certified by the New Jersey Green Auto Repair Council and collects these materials for recycling.
Leif’s Auto Collision Centers, Oregon
A long-established New York auto body shop owner who has successfully won over $1 million from insurance companies announced recently lawsuits seeking nearly $3 million from the trio of State Farm, Allstate and Adirondack Insurance.
The owner of a Watertown, NY, auto body repair shop said plans for an additional location in the town of Pamelia remain indefinite, following the County Planning Board’s site plan review March 27.
Junior J. Stefanini, owner of Body Pros, 17940 U.S. Route 11, submitted plans for a project that includes a 100-foot-by-200-foot auto body repair building, a 60-foot-by-160-foot retail plaza with four storefronts and a 50-foot-by-100-foot storage building on a 15-acre site on U.S. Route 11, next door to Space Age Pools and Spas. According to Andrew R. Nevin, senior planner for the Jefferson County Planning Department, the proposed business would generate about 20 employees. The Planning Board sent the project back to the town of Pamelia as “a local concern” with some comments made about the site’s layout.
“We’re noting that the local board should consider the need possibly to relocate parking to the side or rear of the buildings or require additional landscaping to buffer the front yard and this other side yard per their zoning law requirements,” Mr. Nevin said.
The Planning Board said the plans should also include more details about anticipated drainage from parking lots to assess the possible impact on a stream that runs along the back of the property.
While Mr. Stefanini said the submitted site plan may not necessarily the exact one he would want to construct, he is hoping to eventually offer more business to the Fort Drum community.
“Sometime in the future I look forward to building in the town of Pamelia, but as of right now, I have no plans of breaking ground any time soon,” Mr. Stefanini said. “It really just comes down to what it’s going to cost to build something.”
He added, “I hope to build a body shop out there in the near future and, hopefully, bring more jobs to the area.”
A sixth Baltimore Police officer was sentenced April 13 for his role in a massive kickback scheme involving an auto body shop, receiving two years in prison and being ordered to pay $24,000 in restitution.
Officer Rafael Concepcion Feliciano Jr., 31, admitted last year that he referred accident vehicles to the Majestic Auto Body shop in Rosedale after being introduced to the store's owners by a fellow officer, Rodney Cintron, prosecutors said.
Prosecutors estimate that Feliciano alone caused a loss of between $120,000 and $200,000. U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Blake sentenced Feliciano to two years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, and ordered him to pay restitution of $24,084, of which $10,000 will go to the Baltimore Police Department, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office in Maryland.
Fifteen officers pleaded guilty in the scheme, and another was convicted by a federal jury, while dozens more were implicated in the probe. The six officers who have been sentenced have received between eight and 30 months in prison, putting Feliciano's sentence on the higher end.
March 28th, 2012---Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (R-Merrick) described the Senate legislation to combat auto insurance fraud which costs New Yorkers more than $1 billion a year. The legislation would create stronger penalties for individuals who commit insurance fraud and stage auto accidents.
“Auto insurance fraud costs New Yorkers over $1 billion every year, driving our already expensive auto insurance premiums even higher. Stronger penalties are needed to combat auto insurance fraud and protect law-abiding drivers from criminals who steal from our pockets and jeopardize our safety,” said Senator Fuschillo, who supported the legislation in the Senate.
March 22---The New York State Senate passed three bills to combat auto insurance fraud, which costs New Yorkers more than $1 billion a year, as well as legislation that would impose stronger criminal penalties for staging auto accidents. Recent cases of auto insurance fraud have uncovered massive crime rings, including doctors, lawyers and scam artists who staged accidents and used New York's no-fault insurance program as their own giant state-sponsored, ATM machine.