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March 30, 10

NEWS / Father & Son who Owned Used Car Dealerships in Vineland Sentenced for Falsifying Mileage on Vehicle

TRENTON Ė Attorney General Paula T. Dow and Criminal Justice Director Stephen J. Taylor announced that a father and son who rolled back the odometers on used cars they sold at their two Vineland auto dealerships were sentenced today for obtaining fraudulent vehicle titles to match the false odometer readings.

According to Director Taylor, John R. Horstmann, 66, and his son, Brian Horstmann, 38, both of Woodbine, were sentenced today by Superior Court Judge Robert P. Becker Jr. in Cumberland County. Judge Becker sentenced John Horstmann, who formerly owned B-Auto Sales, to four years in state prison. The judge sentenced Brian Horstmann, who formerly owned Cumberland County Car Company, to four years of probation, conditioned on him performing 150 hours of community service and paying a $3,000 fine. Both dealerships are now out of business.

John Horstmann pleaded guilty in January to second-degree conspiracy to commit official misconduct, a charge contained in a May 16, 2008 indictment. Brian Horstmann pleaded guilty in January to an amended count of third-degree conspiracy to commit official misconduct.

The two men admitted that between February 2001 and November 2003, they conspired with a former employee at the Vineland Motor Vehicle Agency, Gina Guzzi, 42, to obtain 89 fraudulent vehicle titles reflecting false mileage readings for vehicles sold by their used car dealerships. An investigation by the Division of Criminal Justice and the Motor Vehicle Commission revealed that the defendants rolled back the odometers on each vehicle by tens of thousands of miles. They then obtained fraudulent titles listing the lower mileage. Guzzi pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit official misconduct and was sentenced in 2008 to four years in prison.

Supervising Deputy Attorney General Jacqueline D. Smith, Deputy Chief of the Division of Criminal Justice Major Crimes Bureau, and Deputy Attorney General Jacqueline Cistaro prosecuted the case and represented the state at the sentencing hearing. The investigation was conducted by Detective Michael Duffield of the Division of Criminal Justice Major Crimes Bureau and Investigator Jeffrey Streitz of the Motor Vehicle Commission Security and Investigations Unit.

The investigation began in 2003, when the MVC alerted the Division of Criminal Justice about possible odometer tampering involving vehicles titled by Cumberland County Car Company.




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