Used-Car Dealer Stole $7M to Live Mob Fantasy Life: Feds

Luxuries included Trump World Tower apartment and Hampton home

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
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    Chris Orsaris, 37-year-old used-car dealer in Queens, is accused of embezzling millions to fuel an extravagent lifestyle.

    It's all about the Benjamins. At least that's what used-car dealer Chris Orsaris used to think before he got busted for living too large.

    Federal officials say the 37-year-old embezzled millions of dollars to fuel his extravagant lifestyle, including multiple homes, bodyguards and a yacht.

    Orsaris is accused of carrying out a $7 million fraud and embezzlement scam at Major Automotive Cos., a $300-million-a-year business with 14 city dealerships. Orsaris appeared in Long Island Federal Court on Thursday and was denied bail. He had previously pleaded not guilty.

    Officials says Orsaris funneled a fortune in inflated sales commissions to cover luxuries, including a $5.5 million Trump World Tower apartment, a $2.9 million Southampton home, and a $2 million Florida condo, officials told the Daily News.

    The News also reported that Orsaris owned a $5 million Queens waterfront home, with a $866,000 yacht he named, "B LOW ME." He then filed a false claim stating the yacht was stolen.

    Officials said Orsaris also hired thugs and drug dealers as Orsaris' bodyguards, chauffeurs, and personal assistants.

    At the time of his arrest, Orsaris was the general manager of Major Chevrolet Long Island City, reported the News. It's one of the nation's largest used-car dealerships.

    "He was a very trusted employee," Steven Harfenist, lawyer for Major Automotive, which fired Orsaris immediately after his bust,  told the News. "We've cooperated fully with the government, and the matter will be resolved in court."

    Orsaris' defense lawyer, Joseph Conway, didn't return calls for comment.

    The former used-car dealer faces a 164-count indictment accusing him of taking the the stolen funds through three sham corporations and forged his boss' signature as part of the scheme, reports the News.

    If convicted, he'd likely face about 10 years behind bars.