Ex-car dealership official sentenced for stealing nearly $3M

CAMDEN, N.J. -- The former general manager of a now-defunct New Jersey car dealership who got nearly $3 million through a fraud scheme has been sentenced to five years in prison.

Richard Pepe had pleaded guilty to bank fraud and filing a fraudulent federal income tax return. He was the general manager of Chevrolet 73 in Berlin from 2004 through October 2008.

Federal prosecutors say the 70-year-old Vineland man admitted that he and others acting on his behalf provided a bank with false information, including false liabilities and profits on monthly dealership statements. Pepe obtained more than $2.95 million through the scheme, using the funds for personal expenses.

Pepe will also have to serve three years of supervised release once he's freed and pay back $2,950,270.

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