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New York business owner charged with wire fraud in classic car scheme

The company, which  specializes in the restoration and sale of antique vehicles, has many long distance and international customers

Rochester, N.Y.—U.S. Attorney Trini E. Ross has announced that Clark P. Rittersbach, 49, of Cape Coral, Fla., was charged by criminal complaint with wire fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years imprisonment and a fine of $250,000.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Katelyn M. Hartford, who is handling the case, stated that according to the complaint, Rittersbach owned and was the sole manager of Concours Classic Motor Cars in Macedon, N.Y., from approximately 2006 until at least approximately 2021.

The company, which  specializes in the restoration and sale of antique vehicles, has many long distance and international customers. According to the complaint, since at least 2017, Rittersbach has fraudulently billed three victims for acquisition and/or restoration work on their antique vehicles that he either did not complete or did not perform at all, despite communicating to them via email and text message that he had.

As a result of this scheme, Rittersbach fraudulently obtained at least $1.15 million dollars from the three victims.

  • Between April 2009 and April 2019, Victim 1, who resides in Pennsylvania, paid Rittersbach to purchase or restore numerous vehicles on his behalf, but eventually became aware of instances in which Rittersbach lied about work done or vehicles purchased in order to obtain money from Victim 1, including a 1932 Dusenburg Murphy.
  • Between 2014 and May 2021, Victim 2, a Canadian resident, paid Rittersbach to acquire and/or restore six rare and high value antique automobiles in exchange for payments totaling $374,000. These automobiles included a 1964 Porsche 356C, which Victim 2 never received.
  • In 2008, Victim 3, who lived in the United Kingdom and France, entered into an agreement with Rittersbach to restore a 1926 Rolls Royce “Silver Ghost” he had purchased from an acquaintance of Rittersbach. By December 2021, Victim 3 became suspicious that Rittersbach was not performing the restoration work and requested verification, at which time Rittersbach became unresponsive to Victim 3. Subsequently, Victim 3 hired a private investigator and an attorney, who were able to locate the Rolls Royce in late April 2022. However, very little restoration work had been done.

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