CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK)—According to the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia, 63-year-old Ricky V. McLaughlin, of Belpre, Ohio, was sentenced to 87 months (over 7 years) in prison for wire fraud. In addition to the prison time, he was ordered to pay over $700,000 in restitution.
McLaughlin operated the McLaughlin Motor Car Museum in Parkersburg, and for more than four years he stole money and defrauded 17 customers of over $1 million through a wire fraud scheme, according to court documents. He bought, restored, and sold collector cars, like Pontiac Trans Am classic cars, but he refused to provide paying customers with either the titles of their cars or the cars themselves.
Court documents also say that McLaughlin would sometimes sell the same car to multiple customers or sell the cars on consignment but then refuse to send the sale proceeds of the cars to the car owners.
Assistant United States Attorney Kathleen Robeson is handling the prosecution, and United States District Court Judge Irene C. Berger imposed the sentence.