N.J. Business Owner Pleads Guilty in Stolen Vehicle Scam
TRENTON, NJ --- A Marlboro Township man and his family's corporation have pleaded guilty to their roles in a stolen automobile trafficking ring.
According to Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Greta Gooden Brown, Patryk Zygadlo, 29, pleaded guilty before Superior Court to second-degree conspiracy and third-degree insurance fraud. The charges were contained in a Feb. 27 Union County grand jury indictment.
In addition, Monroe-based Tri-State Brick Face Inc., a corporation owned, operated and controlled by Zygadlo and other family members, pleaded guilty to a criminal charge of third-degree receiving stolen property.
At the guilty plea hearing, Zygadlo admitted that between May 13, 2003 and March 24, 2004, he twice altered the vehicle identification number of a red 2003 Ford Expedition Eddie Bauer, which had been stolen from Sunshine Ford Lincoln Mercury in Newburgh, N.Y.
Zygadlo admitted that he changed the VIN number the first time in order to commit insurance fraud and theft by deception. Zygadlo reported the vehicle stolen to the New Brunswick Police Department and subsequently submitted two claims to State Farm -– one for $2,972 for a rental car and another for $26,685 for the value of the vehicle. State Farm paid Patryk Zygadlo $3,352 before denying the second claim for the value of the vehicle.
Zygadlo also admitted that he changed the VIN number a second time and conspired with his brother, Mariusz Zygadlo, 24; his uncle, Marek Zygadlo, 43; and his cousin, Sebastian Bes, 24, all of Monroe, to resell the vehicle on eBay to a customer in Idaho for $28,350. The customer wired the money to Bes' bank account. After Bes received the money, he allegedly wired $7,500 of it to Mariusz Zygadlo.
Mariusz Zygadlo, Marek Zygadlo and Bes were all indicted in the Union County grand jury indictment on charges related to the auto theft ring. The charges against the other defendants are pending.
The corporation admitted, through its president, Miroslaw Zygadlo, that it received three stolen, re-tagged vehicles -– all Ford F-350 pickup trucks -– and used them as part of its business fleet.
State Investigators Jeffrey Lorman and Jarek Pyrzanowski, and Deputy Attorneys General Jacqueline Smith and John Higgins, were assigned to the investigation. Higgins represented the Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor at the guilty plea hearing.