RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — A Raleigh man was sentenced to less than five years in prison after he worked with others in a scam that brought in more than $1 million in luxury cars and watercraft using the identities of others, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said Thursday.
Basilio Rafael Garcia, 42, of Raleigh pleaded guilty in May to conspiracy and aggravated identity theft in a con that ripped off various North Carolina auto dealerships of “high-end luxury cars” — including a BMW X5 and a Range Rover, according to Michael Easley, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina.
“He was driven by greed and greed alone,” Easley said in a news release, adding that Garcia was sentenced to 4.5 years in prison and three years of supervised release.
According to the investigation, in March 2017 Garcia traveled from Raleigh to Columbia, South Carolina, where he used stolen ID info from people in Puerto Rico to obtain a South Carolina ID card. Garcia also provided a Social Security card and Puerto Rico birth certificate which belonged to other people, officials said,
“Based on the false information provided, Garcia successfully obtained a South Carolina identification card with his photograph but the victim’s identifiers,” the news release said.
The very next day after the visit to South Carolina, Garcia used the fake info to finance the purchase of a Honda dirt bike from a dealership in Wake Forest, officials said.
Officials said Garcia then used the fake info to con auto dealerships in the Raleigh and Durham area to obtain two Jeep Wranglers, a Jeep Grand Cherokee, a BMW X5, and a Range Rover. He also used fake IDs to buy a Honda Accord, according to a grand jury indictment.
The scam worked by Garcia putting virtually no money down and financing the purchase of the cars with the fake IDs, officials said.
When officials searched Garcia’s home they later found driver’s licenses, birth certificates, passports, Social Security cards, and vehicle titles in the names of other people.
“Identity theft like this can leave victims with ruined credit and dire financial straits. We are prosecuting the fraudsters and reminding consumers to protect themselves,” Easley said.
Others in the scam obtained a 2017 Toyota 4Runner, a Dodge Charger, a Ford F150 Raptor, a Jeep Wrangler and a 2017 Yamaha utility vehicle, according to the indictment in the case.
Two co-conspirators in the scam — Jarlin Javier Sanchez and Warlin Mateo-Tejeda — were previously sentenced to prison following their guilty pleas.