FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, June 29, 2016
Self-Proclaimed “Pastor” and Car Wholesaler Indicted For Stealing
More Than $66,000 from Seven Clients in Scam
Claimed to Win Cars at Auction, Took Clients’ Cash but Never Delivered Cars
Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson today announced that a former Canarsie man has been indicted for stealing more than $66,000 from seven Brooklyn clients in a used-car scam — showing clients used cars at auction, telling them he had purchased the cars but never delivering them or fully refunding the money.
District Attorney Thompson said, “This defendant allegedly advertised his services to attract clients and then betrayed and stole from people who trusted him. I would caution anyone planning to purchase a car or other large items to be wary of potential scams and use a proven, reputable source whenever possible.”
The District Attorney identified the defendant as Daniel Efosa, 60, formerly of Canarsie. He was arraigned today before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Michael Brennan on an indictment in which he is charged with one count of first-degree scheme to defraud and seven counts of third-degree grand larceny. The defendant was ordered held on bail of $10,000 bond or cash, ordered to surrender his passport and to return to court on August 24, 2016.
The District Attorney said that, according to the indictment, from March 18, 2012 to February 19, 2014, the defendant, a used-car wholesaler and self-proclaimed “pastor,” stole money from seven people who believed that he was purchasing used cars for them at out-of-state auctions. The defendant allegedly attracted his clients in Brooklyn, through the use of billboards and business cards, and then drove clients from their homes to used car auctions, mostly in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Once there, the defendant allegedly had his clients choose a car for purchase, which he then purportedly bid on, and won.
According to the indictment, the defendant’s clients paid him in cash after the purported purchase because he told them that the auction only accepted payment from dealers. The clients left the auction with the understanding that the car would be delivered to Brooklyn at a later date after passing inspection. Although the defendant gave his clients receipts for their cash payments to him, in instances when clients asked the defendant for proof of sale, he allegedly hurriedly showed them papers, which he claimed he had to keep for delivery of the vehicle. According to the indictment, none of the clients examined the paperwork.
After the auctions, when the clients called the defendant inquiring about the delivery of their cars, he allegedly provided various excuses to explain the delay in delivery, including weather delays and problems discovered during inspection. According to the indictment, none of the vehicles were ever delivered and none of the clients received full refunds.
The case was investigated by Detective Investigator Kolawole Olosunde, of the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Investigations Bureau, and New York City Police Department Detective Patrick Dooley, of the Brooklyn South Warrants Squad.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Pamela Murray of the District Attorney’s Frauds Bureau, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Felice Sontupe, Chief, and the overall supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney William E. Schaeffer, Chief of the District Attorney’s Investigations Division and Assistant District Attorney Patricia McNeill, Deputy Chief.
An indictment is an accusatory instrument and not proof of a defendant’s guilt.