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Auto dealer pleads guilty to multiple crimes connected to his business

A Lancaster man will be going to prison for his illegal activities while operating two local car dealerships.

Richard Giza, 63, who operated KPS Cars in Buffalo and Premier Motocar in Williamsville, ran his business through fraud, deception and theft, Erie County prosecutors said.

He would take money for vehicles but not transfer the titles to his buyers or file any paperwork, prosecutors said. He also falsified forms to the Department of Motor Vehicles to hide that he was selling cars and admitted that he filed false applications for insurance, overstating his business' assets and forging other papers, including lien releases from creditors to hide his debts, prosecutors said.

Giza also kept for himself $122,190.45 that he collected in sales tax instead of remitting it to authorities.

Giza pleaded guilty in Erie County Court to five charges: grand larceny and forgery in the second degree, insurance fraud in the third degree, and falsifying business records and scheming to defraud in the first degree.

Prison time is mandatory for the convictions, according to the DA, and Giza faces up to 15 years when he is sentenced by Judge Kenneth F. Case on Feb. 5.

The case was investigated by the state Department of Taxation and Finance, State Police and the state Department of Financial Services' Criminal Investigation Unit.

It was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorneys Gary M. Ertel and Rachel Kranitz McPhee.

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