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Car-buying Scheme Prompts Theft Charges against 2 Men


TALLAHASSEE -- Arrest warrants have been issued for two South Florida men who allegedly bought 31 cars at auto auctions from Miami to Orlando using bad checks.

Based on an investigation by the Florida Department of Insurance and the Broward County Auto Theft Task Force, the Office of Statewide Prosecution has charged Ramy Vaserman, 46, of Plantation, and Josef Korinek, 49, of Sunrise, with five counts each of grand theft.

Vaserman and Korinek, operating as authorized representatives of H & E Enterprises, Inc. (H & E), of Ft. Lauderdale, an automobile wholesaler insured by Nations Surety Company under a surety bond issued between May 1, 1998, and April 30, 1999. Bond coverage is required by the Auto Auction Dealer Association for any wholesaler wanting to purchase vehicles at an auction in Florida. Because of the surety bond, auto auction houses accepted all checks issued on H & E Enterprises' account.

From May 20, 1998, to May 22, 1998, H & E purchased 31 cars from six different auto auctions from Miami to Orlando. The total cost of these cars was $612,783. Investigators determined Vaserman and Korinek bought the cars with checks from H & E's bank account when they knew they had insufficient funds to cover the checks. Besides securing a bond, investigators said the scheme also included fraudulently inflating the balance on the H & E bank account by depositing a total of $300,720 with advance knowledge that the deposits would not clear.

Additional arrests are pending.

The Department of Insurance, Division of Insurance Fraud, investigates various forms of fraud in insurance, including health, life, auto, property and workers' compensation insurance. Anyone with information about this case or another possible fraud scheme should call the Department's Fraud Hotline at 1-800-378-0445. A reward of up to $25,000 is offered for information leading to a conviction.