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Ohio Man Indicted in Scam Targeting Car Dealerships


(LEBANON, Ohio)—Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and Warren County Prosecutor David P. Fornshell today announced that a Cincinnati area man has been indicted for allegedly scamming car dealerships and financial institutions out of more than $800,000.

Jerry Agostini, Jr., 52, allegedly used false information and a dummy corporation to secure vehicles, heavy equipment, loans, and checks from car and equipment dealerships in Warren County, Butler County, Hamilton County, and Kenton County (KY).

He was indicted today by the Warren County grand jury on 29 counts, including the following charges:

  • Engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, a second degree felony;
  • Grand theft of a motor vehicle, a fourth degree felony; 
  • Theft by deception, fourth and fifth degree felonies;
  • Receiving stolen motor vehicles, a fourth degree felony;
  • Attempted grand theft of a motor vehicle, a fifth degree felony; and
  • Receiving stolen property, fourth and fifth degree felonies.

“This scam hit several different businesses spanning multiple counties,” Attorney General DeWine said. “Our goal was to work with local law enforcement agencies to help put the pieces together. Scams are a constant drain on the economy, and collaboration is critical to stopping them.”

“This case began as a theft investigation from a Warren County car dealership, and the Warren County Sheriff’s Office quickly determined that the criminal acts spread far beyond our county lines.  By partnering with Attorney General DeWine’s office, and numerous other law enforcement agencies, we were able to present evidence to the grand jury of a complicated pattern of fraud and theft throughout southwest Ohio,” Fornshell said.

According to investigators, Agostini went to dealerships seeking heavy-duty trucks and equipment for his business, Engineered Environmental, which he falsely claimed was a multi-million dollar construction company. He allegedly produced fabricated financial records to secure loans and purchase vehicles worth tens of thousands of dollars.

Investigators have recovered nine vehicles taken as part of the scheme. The alleged activity occurred between January 2014 and March 2015.

Prosecutors with Attorney General DeWine’s Economic Crimes Unit were appointed special prosecutors to handle the case with Warren County Prosecutor Fornshell’s office.

The case was investigated by the Attorney General’s Economic Crimes Unit along with the Warren County Sheriff’s Office, Warren County Prosecutor’s Office, U.S. Secret Service, Union Township Police Department, Colerain Township Police Department, Miami Dade Police Department (FL), and the Valley View Police Department. The Hamilton County Prosecutor’s Office, Clermont County Prosecutor’s Office, and Clermont County Sheriff’s Office also provided assistance.

Agostini is currently in the Clermont County Jail, where he is serving sentences for theft and identity theft. He is expected to be arraigned in Warren County Common Pleas Court next week.



Indictment (PDF)

Media Contacts

Dan Tierney: 614-466-3840
Kate Hanson: 614-466-3840

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