“Used Car King of New York” Pleads Guilty for Fake License Plates
The self-proclaimed "Used Car King of New York" has plead guilty to conspiring to commit wire fraud and now faces up to 20 years in prison.
According to a press release from the United States Attorney's Office Southern District of Texas, 51-year-old Octavian Ocasio pleaded guilty to conspiring with others to buying and selling thousands of fraudulent Texas-issued temporary buyer tags for cars outside of Texas without a legitimate vehicle purchase.
Ocasio admitted to using Gmail, Instagram and Facebook to receive and deliver the fraudulent tags and received payment by Cash App and Zelle.
He is currently being held in custody and faces up to 20 years in federal prison and a $250,000 maximum fine. His sentencing is scheduled for February 6, 2023.
According to a report by Larry Celona and Jorge Fitz-Gibbon of the New York Post, Ocasio allegedly sold over 600,000 fake tags, which made vehicles essentially untraceable and able to skip on tolls and avoid tickets from red light cameras. Their report indicated that the tags were often used by gang members to avoid prosecution for crimes. Ocasio would take advantage of the legality of paper plates in Texas, give his partners fake registration information, and send a printable PDF of the fake plates to his customers.
The press release also reported that one of his co-conspirators, Emmanuel Padilla Reyes, also known as Christian Hernandez Bonilla or Noel Rivera, is still on the run from law enforcement and the FBI is offering a $5,000 reward to anyone that provides information leading to an arrest.