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MIDDLETOWN — Justin Williams, 42, of Rocky Hill, waived his right to be indicted and pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud arising from an auto loan fraud scheme, according to federal officials.
Pursuant to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, the court proceeding before U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas O. Farrish occurred via videoconference, according to a news release from Connecticut U.S. Attorney John H. Durham.
According to court documents and statements made in court, Williams worked as a salesman and de facto general manager at a used car dealership located at 1075 Newfield St. in Middletown, known variously as Car Nation, LLC, Car Nation CT, LLC, and Middletown Motorcars, which was owned and operated by George Hajati. according to federal authorities.
In connection with automobile loan applications for multiple borrowers, Williams, Hajati and others submitted falsified documents and statements to victim lenders, the release from federal authorities said.
Between approximately November 2015 and June 2016, Williams defrauded lenders of $300,037.02 through this scheme, according to court documents and the federal release.
Williams was arrested on a criminal complaint Jan. 16, according to Durham.
He was previously convicted of federal fraud charges related to a Hartford-area scheme to defraud mortgage lenders, and he was on federal supervised release at the time of the auto loan fraud, Durham said in the release.
At sentencing, which is not yet scheduled, Williams faces a maximum of up to 30 years in prison. He also faces additional penalties for violating the conditions of his supervise release.
Williams has been free on a $100,000 bond since his arrest.
Hajati pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud stemming from the case. He also was previously convicted of federal fraud charges related to the Hartford-area mortgage fraud scheme and was serving a term of supervised release, Durham said in the release.
In June, he was sentenced to 27 months in prison, and ordered to pay $654,952.56 in restitution for his role in the auto loan fraud scheme, and was sentenced to an additional 21 months in prison for violating the conditions of his supervised release, according to the release.