Dusty Old Cars owner indicted
Dusty Old Cars owner indicted
NASHUA – Stephan Condodemetraky, owner of the now defunct classic car dealership Dusty Old Cars, is facing jail time after the Grand Jury in the Merrimack County Superior Court handed up numerous criminal indictments Friday.
Condodemetraky is indicted on one count of witness tampering, nine counts of forgery and 10 counts of title application fraud, according to court documents. When reached for comment on Friday, Condodemetraky stated he did not know about the indictments.
“I am not sure what you are referring too (sic),” Condodemetraky replied via email when asked for comment.
The title fraud and forgery indictments all deal with one man, Brad West of Manchester, who was allegedly defrauded by Condodemetraky in 2013, though there are hundreds of other people who claim to have been taken by Condodemetraky.
The counts related to West claim that Condodemetraky forged signatures on the sales contracts for several classic cars owned by West and then used those contracts to obtain titles for the cars at the New Hampshire Department of Motor Vehicles.
The West case is related to a Connecticut court case in which Condodemetraky was sued for allegedly using the titles of those cars as security for a loan which he defaulted on, according to court records.
Assistant Attorney General James Boffetti declined to comment on the case on Friday, citing the now active criminal case. There may be more charges coming, as more than 130 people having filed complaints against Condodemetraky and Dusty Old Cars with the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office, most coming in the last year. The Telegraph has spoken to former Dusty Old Cars customers who claim to have given depositions in the case for matters not related to West.
Condodemetraky loved to tout his business and cited the growth of the company when questioned by the Telegraph about customer complaints last year.
“The market would not reward us with 40 percent growth year after year if we were defrauding people,” Condodemetraky said in an August interview.
In February, amid growing complaints and a criminal investigation, Condodemetraky filed for bankruptcy.
The company started five years ago in Derry before moving to a warehouse facility on Airport Road in Nashua. It operated largely as a consignment dealer, entering into deals with the owners of classic cars to sell the vehicle for a 1 percent cut of the sales price. The consignment customers claim Condodemetraky forged titles and sales agreements on the cars they brought to him to be consigned and then sold the cars without paying them, or paid them a fraction of the sales price after charging for allegedly bogus repair fees.
“It’s about time,” said Amy Sletten, who says she lost a classic MG to Condodemetraky. “I would like to see him pay for all of his (ponzi) scheme like-activities, but this is a start and jail is jail.”
Sletten, like many former customers, said she does not think she will ever see any of the money owed to her. Jeffrey Maniff says that he lost several cars to Dusty Old Cars, and does not think he will recoup the $50,000 he lost. He’s happy to see the criminal case get started.
“Almost immediately after receiving your car, Stephan Condodemetraky took a hard left turn down ‘Criminal Boulevard,'” Maniff said.
The criminal counts come as Condodemetraky is being scrutinized in the bankruptcy case.
Initially, he filed a Chapter 11 bankruptcy with the hope to reorganize the company and pay off creditors. After a heated meeting with spurned customers in the bankruptcy case, in which Condodemetraky tacitly admitted to forging signatures, the government moved to have a trustee appointed to the case.
Nashua attorney Michael Askenaizer was appointed in March to oversee the Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization. On the day he took charge of the company, Askenaizer has testified that he found business records missing, taken by Condodemetraky and computers wiped of data. Askenaizer then moved the court to change the case from a reorganization to a Chapter 7 liquidation.
Askenaizer is tasked with finding the real owners for the hundreds of cars still in the Airport Road warehouse and returning them. He must also find a way to sell whatever assets remain in order to pay back the people who lost money and vehicles.
There are questions about some missing vehicles. Condodemetraky had between 30-40 cars stashed in a warehouse in Derry, taken before Askenaizer was appointed.
An indictment is not an indication, or proof of, guilt, but represents the Grand Jury’s determination that enough evidence exists for prosecutors to move the case forward in Superior Court.