Family charged in car scheme http://www.observer-reporter.com/or/break11/05-11-2012-locastros-charges
By Kathie O. Warco Staff writer firstname.lastname@example.org
5/11/2012 3:33 AM
The owner of a former Canonsburg used car dealership and three family members face racketeering and theft charges stemming from a car financing scheme.
Vincent LoCastro, 57, of 203 Spartan Drive, Bethel Park, who once owned All Pro Auto Mall, is charged with two counts each of corrupt organizations and conspiracy as well as 18 counts each of theft and defrauding creditors.
His brother, Frank LoCastro, 47, of 151 Carol Drive, McMurray, is charged with two counts each of corrupt organizations and conspiracy along with 32 counts each of theft and defrauding creditors. He also is charged with unsworn falsification.
Vincent LoCastro's son, Joseph Bruce LoCastro, 26, along with his 21-year-old wife, Nicole LoCastro, also of 203 Spartan, also were charged with two counts of corrupt organizations and conspiracy.
A trooper with the state police Bureau of Criminal Investigations filed the charges this week at the office of District Judge David Mark.
Frank LoCastro reportedly purchased 16 high-end vehicles from dealerships in Pennsylvania, Ohio, New Jersey and Maryland between Dec. 23, 2008, and Feb. 9, 2009. Thirteen different financial institutions were used to finance the purchases. Vehicles purchased included a Hummer, Porsche, Mercedes-Benz and Cadillac Escalade.
Vincent LoCastro, along with his son and daughter-in-law, reportedly were involved in the vehicle transactions. Specifically, Vincent LoCastro was involved in 14 transactions; Joseph LoCastro, 10; and Nicole LoCastro, eight.
Frank LoCastro reportedly gave false information on loan documents, identifying himself as vice president of LoCastro & Associates with an annual salary of $144,000. Frank LoCastro then defaulted on the loans.
Court documents indicate creditors lost more than $400,000 on the defaulted loans. Some of the vehicles were recovered, but others were not, investigators said.
"Filing of criminal charges under Pennsylvania's Racketeering Influence and corrupt Organizations Act is a rare event due to the complex nature of these type of cases," said Eugene Vittone, Washington County district attorney.
"Hundreds of hours of police work were invested in this case," added Vittone.
Vincent LoCastro is no stranger to Washington County courts. Last September, he pleaded guilty to charges in connection with a false insurance claim in November 2008. He was sentenced to 18 months of probation after pleading guilty to one count each of insurance fraud, theft and forgery. LoCastro also was fined $500.
In December 2010, LoCastro pleaded guilty to unlawful business practices at the dealership from 2007 to 2009.
Also in December 2010, LoCastro was indicted in federal court for allegedly using another person's personal information to obtain financing for nine luxury cars. He was charged with identity theft for allegedly using the name, date of birth and Social Security number of "a person known to the grand jury" to acquire loans that resulted in four banks losing thousands of dollars.
Last June, LoCastro pleaded guilty and was placed on probation for 3 years. He was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $545,872.
All four LoCastros are expected to be arraigned before Mark on the charges later this month.