A 73-year-old Brookfield man, whose wife and adult children told an area car dealership he was dead after checks he wrote for a used car bounced, was sentenced to two years’ probation Monday.
Frank Giordano was charged Aug. 10, 2018, in Waukesha County Circuit Court with two felonies in connection with the case.
In a plea agreement reached in November 2019, the court dismissed a charge of issuing worthless checks, and Giordana entered a plea of no contest to the charge of theft by false representation.
In May 2018, Frank Giordano went to Ewald Automotive Group in Oconomowoc Lake to buy a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt, according to a criminal complaint from Waukesha County Circuit Court.
Giordano gave the dealership a $1,000 check as a down payment on the car. He returned later in the day to pay the remaining $4,609.04 and drove off the lot with the car.
The first check was returned because a stop payment had been issued on it. The second check was returned for insufficient funds, according to the criminal complaint.
Ewald Motors received no response after sending Giordano a letter on July 23. The dealership then began to call him.
In one call, a woman answered and said he had died.
During another call, Giordano answered and said he was sick and had been in the hospital. After he promised to bring in the money the next day, he didn’t show up.
Ewald tried to reach him several other times, the complaint said.
In one instance, his wife answered and said he was in the hospital and would likely not make it through the night.
Giordano’s wife and adult children also sent text messages that said Giordano had died, and that they would bring in the money after his funeral.
Ewald called Giordano’s cell phone about a week later, and, to their surprise, he answered. He told them that he was not dead and that he wasn’t sure why his wife would have said that.
However, he didn’t pay Ewald or return the car.
In addition to the probation sentence, Giordano was also ordered to pay $1,894 in restitution to Ewald.