YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – A Canfield auto dealer was sentenced to 13 years in prison for ripping off more than 40 people in what investigators called a Ponzi scheme.
Joseph Reinthaler appeared in Mahoning County Court of Common Pleas on Thursday for his sentencing. In August, he pleaded guilty to 71 felony charges.
Investigators first received a complaint from a customer of Reinthaler Auto Village in January of 2015 and then received another in March of that year. The customers said Reinthaler, the owner, wasn’t providing the titles for the vehicles they purchased from the Canfield dealership.
Police said Reinthaler even created phony auto titles so he could resell the cars to other people.
Reinthaler told the judge that he was only trying to keep his business afloat, but Mahoning County Court Judge Maureen Sweeney said the scam cost the state $180,000 and more than two dozen of his customers still haven’t received titles for their cars.
“A substantial number of people were injured and remain injured by his conduct,” she said.
He cried as he was immediately taken into custody.