WILKES-BARRE -- A man was sentenced in federal court in Wilkes-Barre Tuesday for cheating car owners and the federal government.
Leo Glodzik, 45, of Wilkes-Barre, ran a towing company that had a contract with the city of Wilkes-Barre. He was accused of towing cars that were parked illegally and then charging the owners exorbitant fees to get them back.
He was also accused of cheating on his income taxes.
Glodzik was sentenced to 30 months in prison after pleading guilty to fraud and other charges.
Glodzik walked into federal court in Wilkes-Barre prepared to apologize. He admits using his former towing contract with the city of Wilkes-Barre to cheat car owners by charging them exorbitant fees to get back their vehicles. If they couldn't pay, they were told to sign the titles over to Glodzik. He then lied about how much the vehicles were worth and ended up cheating on his federal income taxes.
Holding back tears at his sentencing Glodzik told the judge, "I've made bad decisions in both in my business and my personal life," adding, he embarrassed his family and, "it'll take me a lifetime to make up for what I've done."
"He continues to be embarrassed. Obviously, no one wants to go to jail," said Glodzik's attorney Joseph Sklarosky. "I thought an alternative sentence of community service would have been more appropriate."
A U.S. prosecutor argued to the judge this was a classic case of fraud and greed and incarceration was, "absolutely appropriate."
The judge agreed, calling the charges egregious, and told Glodzik, "you admitted you defrauded the government, and that affects all of us so I consider that serious."
The judge sentenced Glodzik to two and a half years in federal prison.
"He should have gotten 20 years, in my opinion," said Mark Robbins.
Robbins used to live in Wilkes-Barre but is now out of state. He says he was one of Glodzik's victims, who had his car towed and was forced to pay fees he should not have been charged. Robbins feels for the people who could not afford to pay, and ended up signing their cars over to Glodzik.
"The damage he did," said Robbins. "You can't even you can't even put a value on it."