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I-Team: Car Dealer Accused Of Forgery Turns Down Plea Deal

By Kathy Curran, WBZ-TV
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BOSTON (CBS) -A car dealer accused of swindling customers was expected to admit his guilt in court Friday.

A remorseful Dan Wright apologized for his alleged crimes after turning down the plea deal. “From my heart I’m sorry, I’m trying to make restitution,” he told the judge. Wright is the former president of the Sterling Motor Group first exposed by the I-Team, and is accused of stealing customers’ cars and forging documents.

Investigators say in 2010, the salesman forged the signature of Stacey Chicoine’s husband, Joe, on the title for their Mercedes, eight months after Joe died, then sold the car and told her it disappeared from the lot.

Prosecutors say he swindled several other customers along the way. Chicoine is fed up and believes Wright should just admit to the crime. “It’s not about the money anymore; it’s not about the car anymore. It’s just getting justice for my husband,” she says. “He’s just a sad desperate soul. I feel bad for his family, for his friends that know him, that he can’t even just commit to putting closure for victims that he’s affected.”

Wright says he won’t plead guilty, “Because they’re asking me to plead guilty to some of the charges I didn’t do.”

In 2011, the I-Team caught Wright defying a judge’s order and working at a Framingham car dealership while he was out on bail. He was locked up, and has been in and out of court dragging the case on for more than a year.

Chicoine says, “Joe worked hard for his money, worked hard to take care of people and to just have someone sign someone’s name I just feel like it’s the biggest insult to my husband’s integrity.”

Dan Wright admits he made mistakes, but says he needed money to try to save his business. He showed up at court with extra clothes in a paper bag prepared to plead guilty and head to jail, but had a change of heart once again. He’ll face charges of larceny, uttering and forgery at trial.

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