One of two men charged in this summer’s street racing incident on the North Fork is now facing new legal issues after he allegedly filed a bogus insurance claim to collect a cash payout after wrecking his pricey McLaren sports car, according to the Queens District Attorney’s office.
Just one week after entering a guilty plea in Southold Town Justice Court, Gaston Castro, 35, of Flushing allegedly crashed the McLaren that had been returned to him, but reported to police and his insurance company that it had been stolen in an effort to collect a $160,000 cash payout.
Acting Queens District Attorney John Ryan said in a press release that Mr. Castro, 35, filed a police report with the NYPD’s 107th Precinct claiming the light blue car had been stolen from its parking spot outside his home on Jewel Avenue. The vehicle, which was later found in the brush off a road in Nassau County, was recovered by police. After Mr. Castro was notified that his car had been located, he contacted GEICO in an effort to collect the total cost of the vehicle, which he had purchased for $160,000 in 2018, the DA’s office said.
Prosecutors said that when confronted by investigators from NYPD’s auto fraud investigation unit, Mr. Castro admitted the car had not been stolen and that he crashed it and walked away.
“The defendant, caught in his tracks, is now facing prison time for his greed,” Mr. Ryan said in a statement.
Mr. Castro was charged with second-degree insurance fraud, third-degree attempted grand larceny, making a punishable false written statement and third-degree falsely reporting an incident. If convicted, he faces up to 15 years in prison.
He’s due back in court Dec. 2.
In the July 21 incident on the North Fork, Mr. Castro and another man were spotted by police racing at around 130 mph and through red lights along County Road 48 between Peconic and Mattituck. They eventually abandoned their sports cars, including the blue McLaren, near Harbes Family Farm before leaving the scene. They were later arrested by Southold Town Police.
Mr. Castro and Mustafa Nayci, 42, of Coram both pleaded guilty to second-degree reckless endangerment and fourth-degree reckless driving before Judge Brian Hughes on Sept. 27. They were sentenced to 280 hours of community service and nearly $1,600 in fines and fees.
Mr. Castro is the owner of Mpireboyz Inc., according to records filed with the New York Department of State. Mpireboyz is a self-described international car club “aiming to unify car enthusiasts from all around the world,” according to its website.
Caption: Mr. Castro’s sports car at the town police impound lot in July. (Credit: Mahreen Khan)