Finleyville man gets prison for bilking thousands from classic car owners
A Washington County man who took hundreds of thousands of dollars from clients for classic car restorations that he never completed will spend up to five years in prison, an Allegheny County judge ruled Thursday.
Curtis Ukasik, 45, of Finleyville was sentenced by Common Pleas Judge Randal Todd to 32 to 64 months in prison, according to the District Attorney’s Office. He must also repay his victims nearly $450,000.
The case was tried in Allegheny County because Ukasik’s former shop, Redline Performance Motorsports, was in Coraopolis.
Ukasik was charged in April 2016 for allegedly taking customers’ money and feeding them excuses for months when the work he promised to do was never done.
In one instance, Ukasik told a customer that it would take six months to rebuild his 1949 Ford. Four years and more than $170,000 later, Ukasik still had not provided a completed car.
The victim said Ukasik repeatedly made excuses for the continued delay, including “the body shop guy was slow, the upholstery guy was not available, and … employees were not showing up.”
In another instance, a Beaver County woman sent her 1950 antique Chevy truck to Ukasik for repairs, and he illegally removed the factory air conditioning unit worth $3,000. He told the woman the unit leaked and he had sent it back to the manufacturer. In reality, he installed the air conditioner in another customer’s vehicle because he owed that person money.
Megan Guza is a Tribune-Review staff writer.