ERIE, Pa. — A discovery motion filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania urges prosecutors to turn over more detailed documentation of fraud charges against Andy Gabler, owner of the Erie-area Lakeside Auto Sales and Lakeside Chevrolet and former head of the National Independent Automobile Dealers Association.
Gabler and Chad Bednarski, who worked as an F&I manager for the three-rooftop group, were indicted on 17 counts of conspiracy and fraud in August. The prosecution, led by U.S. Attorney Scott W. Brady, charged the pair with falsely reporting down payments and income on loan applications and reporting phantom sales, costing financier S&T Bank approximately $1.88 million.
But the defense attorney who filed the motion, Elliot Segel, claims he has yet to see the proof. Prosecutors have turned over thousands of documents, none labeled to correspond with listed charges, Segel said, and lists of transactions only include dates — no customer or vehicle information, loan amounts, or other specifics that could be used to defend the case.
“This has literally been akin to searching for the proverbial needle in a giant haystack,” Segel told Erie News Now.
A trial date has not yet been set. If convicted, Gabler could be sentenced to up to 510 years in prison and $17 million in fines. Bednarski faces a maximum sentence of 330 years and fines totaling $11 million.