A Swampscott man was sentenced to 2.5 years in the House of Corrections for scamming customers at his former car dealership.
On Thursday, Daniel Wright, 46, of 203 Humphrey St., pleaded guilty in Salem Superior Court to four counts of larceny over $250, two counts of forgery and two counts of uttering a false document, said Carrie Kimball-Monahan, spokeswoman for District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett.
Wright's sentence will be followed by three years of probation during which he must pay $52,962.67 in restitution to the victims.
Wright, the former owner of Sterling Motor Group in Danvers, forged titles to motor vehicles and stole money from customers between May and October in 2010, according to the original grand jury indictment.
One of his victims was a widow, Stacey Chicoine.
Chicoine wanted Wright to sell her 2007 Mercedes S600 and find her a Lexus, according to court documents.
Wright found Chicoine a Lexus, but asked her to get a loan to pay for it. He told her he would give her money from the sale of the Mercedes to pay off her loan, the court document state.
Chicoine got the loan for the Lexus and gave the money to Wright, the documents state.
She expected that the sale of her Mercedes would bring about $53,000.
She later found out that Wright had sold the Mercedes but had given her no money, the document state.
When she asked Wright for the money he told her that an employee of his had sold the car, signed the title and kept the money, records state.
Danvers police and a representative of the State Police and Governor’s Auto Theft Task Force investigated the case, records state.
Investigators, chasing down the transaction records, discovered that the original title holder for the 2007 Mercedes lists its owner as Joseph Chicoine and the purchaser of the title as Sterling Motor Group.
The seller is listed as Joseph Chicoine and the document bears a signature that appears to be his, dated May 15, 2010, the document states.
Joseph Chicoine died Aug. 30, 2009.
Later, in November, interviewed by investigators, Wright admitted he owed three customers money, among them Stacey Chicoine, court document state.
Wright said he had business problems shortly after he opened his dealership and that he thought he could “sell his way out of it,” records state.
The records also state that he admitted he had been “robbing Peter to pay Paul.” and that he was “playing catch-up.”
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