SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - A South Florida man has been arrested on charges of trying to buy a luxury vehicle from a Sarasota dealership using someone else's identity.
Detectives say in July, they got a call from a local dealership about a person trying to buy a 2019 Dodge Challenger Hellcat online that they felt was suspicious. After investigating, detectives say they determined the driver's license being used for the sale belonged to someone else.
The person the driver's license belonged to checked their credit report and found two additional inquires from car dealerships for online sales, including one in Maryland and one in Massachusetts.
The Maryland dealership believed the documents were fraudulent and they had canceled the sale, but the dealership in Massachusetts was in the process of shipping a 2019 Mercedes-Benz AMG GLE to an address in Miami. The sales manager canceled the delivery, but led the suspect to believe that before the car could be shipped, loan documents would need to be signed.
Detectives then worked with the U.S. Secret Service and Miami-Dade Police to identify 24-year-old Gerard Szczerbinski of Miami Gardens as the suspect after he reportedly had the loan documents delivered to his home. Szczerbinski was arrested August 14 by deputies in Broward County after allegedly sending an associate to pick up the car.
At the time of his arrest, detectives say Szczerbinski was in possession of keys to a stolen luxury car from North Carolina. The sheriff’s office says he may have been involved in other fraudulent purchases.
Szczerbinski is charged with one count of Scheme to Defraud, one count of Criminal Use of Personal Identification, and one count of Fraudulent Use of a Credit Card. He remains in custody today at the Sarasota County Jail on $150,000 bond while the investigation continues.
Anyone with information regarding Szczerbinski or his associates is asked to contact the Criminal Investigations Unit at 941-861-4925.