Trustee: Dusty Old Cars similar to Madoff scheme
Last chance approaching for people to get cars back
NASHUA – Time is running out for people to get their cars back from Dusty Old Cars, the bankrupt classic car dealership whose owner is facing criminal charges.
“The goal is to get these cars back to the consignors,” said Michael Askenaizer, who was appointed by United States Bankruptcy Court to oversee the liquidation of the business that has generated more than 100 consumer complaints and 20 felony indictments for the owner, Stephan Condodemetraky.
There are hundreds of cars in the Airport Road warehouse that Condodemetraky operated out of, and more in another warehouse in Derry. Askenaizer has so far been able to get 90 cars back to the original owners, but there are more than 200 more still in the Nashua facility.
And now, Askenaizer is set to ask Bankruptcy Court Judge Bruce Harwood for permission to sell the remaining cars. Askenaizer needs to generate revenue to pay the man creditors, including consignors, who are owed money.
“My goal and my job as bankruptcy trustee is to maximize the recovery for the creditors,” he said.
That means people who may have a car locked in the Airport Road warehouse need to contact Askenaizer soon to get it back.
While Askenaizer has received histories if the vehicle titles from the Registry of Motor Vehicles, he said Condodemetraky had many of them titled to himself or one of his many corporate entities, making the identification of the true owner difficult. Some of the cars are also missing vehicle identification numbers, making the identification difficult.
Condodemetraky is indicted on counts of title application fraud, forgery and witness intimidation related to one alleged victim. He is accused of taking classic cars from the owners on consignment and promising to sell the cars in exchange for a percentage. Instead, he allegedly forged documents to take ownership of the cars, selling them and either never paying the original owner or paying them a fraction of the sales price after he deducted thousands for bogus repairs.
Askenaizer said the criminal case complicates his job for liquidating the business.
“It can be counterproductive,” he said.
Askenaizer has had a hard time figuring out where all the money went, as Condodemetraky has reportedly wiped data off computers and taken business records before Askenaizer was in control of the business office.
“A lot of this business was done in cash,” he said.
Askenaizer estimates the total loss for all of the victims will be at least $3 million. He likens it to the Bernie Madoff ponzi scheme in terms of scope.
“A consignment business of this nature is unique,” Askenaizer said. “I’ve not seen this type of operation and not seen this level of customer complaints.”
Askenaizer doesn’t know how much money he can generate once he starts selling the cars in the warehouse. The 90 or so cars that have so far been returned generated some money for the business. Those owners agreed to pay a fee for return of their vehicles, with a range of fees between $300 and $1,200 depending on the type of contract they had with Condodemetraky.
The law firm Askenaizer hired to assist in the liquidation, Ford & McPartlin, has published a list of the remaining vehicles on its website for people who to check to see if their car is still in Nashua. It can be accessed at www.fordassociatespa.com/aftoknito-rally-information.