The owner of a classic car restoration business in Macedon has been charged in federal court with wire fraud after allegedly bilking three customers out of more than $1 million for work never performed.
Clark P. Rittersbach, 49, appeared in U.S. District Court in Rochester before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark W. Pedersen on Friday to answer to charges. He was released on conditions. Rittersbach, now of Cape Coral, Fla., operated Concours Classic Motorcars LLC.
Rittersbach allegedly billed customers from Pennsylvania, Canada and the United Kingdom for parts and work never performed on valuable antique cars between 2009 and 2021, the criminal complaint states.
From 2006 until at least 2021, Rittersbach was the sole owner and manager of Concours Classic Motorcars, which specialized in the restoration and sale of antique cars.
The criminal complaint states that since 2017, customers were billed for the acquisition and/or restoration work that either was never completed or wasn’t performed. As a result, Rittersbach fraudulently obtained $1.15 million from the three victims.
The Pennsylvania resident referenced in the federal complaint paid Rittersbach to purchase or restore “numerous vehicles” between 2009 and 2019. That included a 1932 Dusenburg Murphy, but the victim “eventually became aware of instances in which Rittersbach lied about work done or vehicles purchased,” according to the office of U.S. Attorney Trini E. Ross of the Western District of New York.
The complaint also says that between 2014 and 2021, a Canadian resident paid Rittersbach to accquire and/or restore six antique automobiles in exchange for payments of $374,000. That included a 1964 Porsche 356C, which the victim never received.
Rupert Page, a resident of the U.K., and an avid collector of classic cars, filed suit in state Supreme Court in Monroe County in March of 2022. Page alleged he was billed for more than $104,000 for parts and service by Rittersbach and Concours Classic Motorcars for work never performed on a 1926 Rolls Royce Silver Ghost.
That case is still pending in state Supreme Court.
Though not a part of the most recent complaint, federal court records also show that a judgment of $1.5 million was filed against Rittersbach and Concour Classic Motorcars for breach of contract in favor of an Australia man because parts were never delivered.
Rittersbach faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on the current federal complaint.
The charges were filed following an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Matthew Miraglia.
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