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Judge Says Teaneck Car Buyer Needs Plan To Repay Stolen $83,000

Defense attorney Kevin G. Roe, Dean Buncombe Photo Credit: Mary K. Miraglia
Assistant Bergen County Prosecutor Pia Shepard Photo Credit: Mary K. Miraglia
Assistant Bergen County Prosecutor Pia Shepard, defense attorney Kevin G. Roe, Dean Buncombe Photo Credit: Mary K. Miraglia

TEANECK, N.J. -- A Teaneck car buyer who said he bounced a check for $83,000 after getting "jammed up" as part of a deal found himself in trouble again when he came to court in Hackensack with no plan for repayment.

Dean Buncombe 36, expected to be sentenced to probation in exchange for a pre-indictment plea.

But when he couldn’t commit to a payment plan, his attorney asked for more time, and the judge gave him to Oct. 16.

Judges tend to look favorably on pre-indictment pleas, which are made before prosecutors have to present a criminal case to a grand jury.

Buncombe's deal could collapse, however, if he can't at least provide a concrete plan.

The Teaneck entrepreneur was in business with wholesale car dealers who bought and sold luxury vehicles.

The victim, a Bergen County auto dealer, told Superior Court Judge Edward A. Jerejian on Friday that he paid Buncombe a $1,500 commission and gave him a check for $83,000 to buy a Lexus from a dealership in Massachusetts

When he tried to pick up the car, he said, he was told the check had bounced and his money was gone.

Attempts to reach Buncombe were fruitless, he said, and his entire business was put in jeopardy. The victim said he wiped out the family savings and took a $75,000 loan at 7% interest to pay off the debt.

“There’s always an honest and straightforward way to resolve a dilemma,” the man said, “And as a Christian, I still consider Mr. Buncombe a brother and would welcome him in my home."

Buncombe said he got into trouble when he was forced to pay a $10,000 penalty in another deal.

When he told the judge Friday that he plans to pay off the full amount within the year through an arrangement with a construction company, Assistant Bergen County Prosecutor Pia Shepard objected.

She said she envisioned Buncombe "taking deposits for work and using that money to pay his restitution, so there will be new victims.”

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