NORTH ATTLEBORO — A Rhode Island man has been sentenced to federal prison for conspiring with a former employee of a local auto repair shop and others to defraud a Pennsylvania auto warranty company of up to $600,000.
Matthew Gershkoff, 64, of North Providence, was sentenced Thursday to 30 months in prison in U.S. District Court in Scranton, Pa., according to the U.S. attorney’s office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania.
Following his prison term, he will be on probation for three years and must pay over $385,350 in restitution to the warranty company, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.
Gershkoff was convicted of preparing false invoices for nonexistent automobile repairs with the help of co-conspirators employed at four auto repair shops, including Ultra Auto Center on Route 1 in North Attleboro.
He was also found guilty of forging the signatures of policy owners and invoices were sent to and were paid by Diamond Warranty Corp. of Wilkes-Barre, Pa.
Gershkoff, who was the manager of Village Motors in North Providence, pleaded guilty on May 18, 2020, to defrauding the company of between $250,000 and $550,000.
He pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit wire fraud and aggravated identity theft offenses.
The former Ultra Auto Center employee, Jason Pannone, 40, of North Providence, was sentenced last month to 18 months for processing false invoices for phony automobile repairs.
Pannone was the owner of Platinum Auto Services in Providence, which he closed for financial reasons, before obtaining a job Ultra Auto Services, according to court records.
Pannone participated in the fraud at Platinum and continued the scheme after being hired at Ultra, which was not involved in the scam, the court said.
He was also ordered to pay over $128,600 in restitution, the amount Diamond Warranty Corp. deposited into his bank account.
A third defendant, Herman Cabral, 62, of Cranston, was sentenced to 10 months for processing false invoices for nonexistent automobile repairs through his Providence auto detailing shop, A Plus Auto Services.
He was also ordered to pay over $211,600 in restitution.
Brian Larry, 59, of Clark’s Summit, Pa., was convicted after trial in May of mail fraud, wire fraud, aggravated identity theft, false statement offenses and defrauding his former employer, the Wilkes-Barre based automobile warranty company.
Larry, who was a claims adjuster for Diamond Warranty, is awaiting sentencing.
The case was investigated by the FBI.