Former car dealer LoCastro and family facing fraud charges

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A former Bethel Park car dealer and three members of his family have been charged with obtaining fraudulent loans to buy cars.

Washington County officials on Thursday announced they had charged Vincent LoCastro, 48, of Bethel Park, with two counts of corrupt organizations, two counts of conspiracy, 18 counts of theft by unlawful taking, and 18 counts of defrauding secured creditors.

Also charged were his brother Frank LoCastro, 57, of Peters, and Vincent LoCastro's two children, Nicole, 21, and Joseph, 26, who live with their father.

Frank LoCastro is charged with 69 counts of theft and conspiracy, charges that state police and the Washington County district attorney's office say involved his buying vehicles and financing them through multiple financial institutions.

From Dec. 23, 2008, to Feb. 5, 2009, police said Frank LoCastro, in conjunction with his brother, niece and nephew, used fraudulent employment and income information to obtain 19 loans totaling $509,831 from institutions including PNC, Bank of America and Huntington Bank.

After paying the first several monthly installments, court records show Mr. LoCastro subsequently defaulted on all of the loans.

Several of the banks told police they have not been able to find the vehicles to repossess them.

Nicole and Joseph LoCastro each face two counts of corrupt organizations and two counts of criminal conspiracy.

In the past three years, Vincent LoCastro has faced hundreds of criminal charges in conjunction with his former business, the All Pro Auto Mall in Canonsburg.

In November 2010, he was convicted of 27 counts of falsifying odometers and engaging in unprofessional conduct, although 572 other charges were dropped. He received 12 months probation and paid $5,695 in fines.

A year ago, he was convicted in federal court for identity theft and check-kiting charges involving a scheme to fraudulently obtain car loans for luxury automobiles and was ordered to pay $545,872 in restitution and serve three years probation.

businessnews - neigh_south

Janice Crompton: jcrompton@post-gazette.com or 412-851-1867 First Published May 11, 2012 12:00 AM


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