Southern N.J. car dealer pleads guilty to fraud

    The owner of a southern New Jersey car dealership has admitted operating a scheme that defrauded customers and lenders.

    Federal prosecutors say Harry Klause, president and manager of Ocean City-based Harry Klause Cars and Trucks, pleaded guilty Friday to a complaint charging him with wire fraud. The 64-year-old Ocean City man faces up to 20 years in prison when he’s sentenced Nov. 15.

    Prosecutors said Klause would buy trade-in vehicles from customers and apply the purchase price against the cost of vehicles those customers bought.

    During his plea hearing in U.S. District Court in Camden, Klause admitted to specific acts of fraud concerning individual transactions. He will remain free on $100,000 bail until his sentencing. The dealership remains open.

    Klause could not be reached for comment on Saturday.

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