Owner of N.J. Auto Repair and Wash Business Delivered with Fraud Charges for Bilking Postal Service

June 9, 2005

An owner and operator of a Newton, New Jersey automobile repair and mobile wash service pleaded guilty recently to misappropriating more than $180,000 in United States Postal Service funds, U.S. Attorney Christopher Christie announced.

Mark DiBattista, 47, of Newton, Sussex County, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge William Walls to a one-count Information. DiBattista, who owned and operated MWD Inc. – doing business as Clinton Garage and Mark’s Mobil Wash in Newton – reportedly admitted that between 1998 and 2003, he excessively billed approximately $184,356 for services to Postal Service vehicles that were either not rendered or rendered at inflated prices that exceeded the normal maintenance schedules for the vehicles, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Joyce Malliet.

Judge Walls set sentencing for Sept. 21 at 10 a.m. For his guilty plea to one count of misappropriation of U.S. Postal Service funds, DiBattista faces a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine.

As a direct result of arrangements made by a Postal Service employee, DiBattista provided exclusive repair and cleaning services to Postal Service vehicles through Clinton Garage and Mark’s Mobil Wash at various New Jersey post offices, including offices located in Andover, Basking Ridge, Bernardsville, Budd Lake, Chester, Dover, Lake Hopatcong, Madison, Newton, Paterson and Rockaway.

DiBattista admitted that he had access to the Postal Service’s credit card system through which he reportedly charged the misappropriated money. DiBattista also admitted to providing benefits in the form of cash, free repair services and used cars to supervisory Postal employees and to members of their families.

“It’s fair to say that Mr. DiBattista did not act alone,” said Christie. “The investigation is continuing.”

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