Bethel Park family charged in car loan scheme

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Washington County officials today announced the filing of racketeering and theft charges against four members of the LoCastro family of Bethel Park and Peters for allegedly obtaining fraudulent loans to buy cars.

Vincent LoCastro, 48, of 203 Spartan Drive, Bethel Park, was charged with two counts of corrupt organizations, two counts of criminal conspiracy, 18 counts of theft by unlawful taking, and 18 counts of defrauding secured creditors. If convicted on all charges, LoCastro could face up to 206 years in prison.

Also charged with LoCastro were:

• Frank LoCastro, 151 Carol Drive, Peters (brother of Vincent LoCastro): two counts of corrupt organizations, two counts of criminal conspiracy, 32 counts of theft by unlawful taking, 32 counts of defrauding secured creditors, and one count of unsworn falsification to authorities. If convicted on all charges, he could face up to 370 years in prison.

• Nicole and Joseph LoCastro, who live with their father, Vincent: two counts of corrupt organizations and two counts of criminal conspiracy. If convicted on all charges, they could each face up to 80 years in prison.

Prosecutors allege that between Dec. 23, 2008 and Feb. 5, 2009, Frank LoCastro purchased vehicles and financed them through multiple financial institutions. Frank LoCastro used fraudulent employment and income information to obtain the loans, and subsequently defaulted on all of them.

Examination of the records from each transaction show that 32 of the vehicle purchase transactions also involved Vincent, Nicole and Joseph LoCastro.

Vincent LoCastro, who formerly owned and operated All Pro Auto Mall in Canonsburg, has a lengthy criminal history involving insurance and used car sales scams, including federal charges that he stole the identity of nine people to fraudulently obtain car loans for luxury automobiles.

A year ago, he was ordered by a federal judge to pay restitution of $545,872 and to serve three years probation, half of that under home detention.

Earlier this year, Vincent LoCastro was approved by Baldwin Township supervisors for another automotive lot called EZ Auto Sales on McNeilly Road. The lot remains undeveloped.

"Filing of criminal charges under Pennsylvania's Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) is a rare event due to the complex nature of these types of cases," said District Attorney Eugene A. Vittone. "The Pennsylvania State Police investigation exposed this fraudulent car financing scheme by the LoCastros conducted through All Pro Auto Mall in Canonsburg [by] investing hundreds of hours of police work in this case." breaking - neigh_south - neigh_washington

Janice Crompton: jcrompton@post-gazette.com or 412-851-1867. First Published May 10, 2012 1:45 PM


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