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Harry Klause Sentenced to 3 Years of Probation

The Ocean City auto dealer pleaded guilty to fraud.

The former Harry Klause Cars and Trucks lot on the 1100 block of Asbury Avenue in Ocean City now sits empty.
The former Harry Klause Cars and Trucks lot on the 1100 block of Asbury Avenue in Ocean City now sits empty.
An Ocean City car dealer who pleaded guilty to fraud was sentenced Friday to three years of probation.

Harry Klause, president and manager of Harry Klause Cars and Trucks at 1120 Asbury Avenue in Ocean City, also must serve four months in home confinement with electronic monitoring and pay a $5,000 fine, according to his attorney, William J. Hughes Jr.

Klause was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Camden, where he admitted in August that he participated in a scheme in 2008 and 2009 to defraud automotive lenders and customers.

Hughes called the sentencing "sad news" for a man whose family has sold cars in Ocean City since the 1920s.

"He is deeply remorseful for his mistakes," Hughes said.

He said he did not know if Klause would be able to continue to operate the dealership in the future, but state regulations likely would prevent him from doing so while he's on probation.

A new sign at the property names the business "Ocean City Cars and Trucks," but there are no vehicles on the lot.
akb41bucs December 15, 2013 at 12:55 AM
Hopefully Harry won't be making license plates for autos he placed on the road illegally. Was Bill Hughes Jr his attorney?
george December 15, 2013 at 06:19 AM
Harry just got into a bad situation because of the economy. Paid his customers too much for their trades and ended up owing more than he was taking in. He got himself into this mess in desperation. I think lots of good honest people may have done the same. People may not know about his generosity to St. Augustine Church and school. He's a good guy, just made some bad decisions. My boys and I have purchased many vehicles from Harry over the years and have always been treated fairly. Hopefully, he gets back on his feet and continues to provide exceptional service to the community.
Eric Sauder December 15, 2013 at 12:07 PM
Well if you put it in perspective its not nearly as bad as the mortgage securities fraud that wiped out the life savings of so many people. What did those people get? A bonus and a raise? I don't have a skin in this game but I can't help but noticing the apologetics for someone who broke the law. The audit report for the City was another instance of that. "In terms of the total amount encumbered by the City the money spent at Shore Clean was a minor amount". The City received a clean audit report. Think of all the irregularities that were brought forward in the past couple of years and the avoidance of responsibility. And those are only the things we know about. Like I said society has come to accept it. I'm not sure what that says about our society, but I can't see it as a good thing.
Eric Sauder December 15, 2013 at 12:17 PM
I was never able to get an explanation from the City over the invoicing for the STEP program where only a fraction of the total amount was justified. Where did the rest of that money go?
Eric Sauder December 15, 2013 at 12:23 PM
or for that matter how the amount that was accounted for (billed)was justified. Oh I guess you would say "it was a minor amount."
Frank December 15, 2013 at 01:22 PM
Eric - Give it a rest already!
Bob Booey December 15, 2013 at 02:51 PM
The hero worship here has risen to level of lunacy. The Mr Klause broke the law and admitted to such actions because of overwhelming evidence. He did not, and would not have stopped these criminal actions if he was not convicted of his crimes. Many people suffered because of his criminal actions no matter what the real or imagined reason. He did not confess to his crimes out of the goodness of his heart. The sentencing was an insult to the people effected by his crimes.
Frank December 15, 2013 at 05:25 PM
Bob - He did not continually commit these offenses. There was a "few" examples found.. thats it! I am not minimizing or excusing the offense. However, please get your facts straight before commenting on something you obviously no nothing about. I realize that is a common theme in Ocean City. EVERYONE aeems to be a self proclaimed expert and has an opinion...very annoying!
Bob Booey December 15, 2013 at 06:29 PM
A "few dozen" would be vastly understating the facts. He absolutely continually committed these crimes and did not stop. The effects of the coolaid in Ocean City are amazingly effective.
Duffer December 16, 2013 at 07:34 AM
Bizarre to see people on here defending this criminal. Only in Ocean City.
Michael D Inman December 16, 2013 at 09:05 AM
Harry Krause is a great guy who made bad choices ... Let he without Sin cast the first stone.. The only difference between you people putting Harry down and Harry himself , is that he got caught and you got away with whatever criminal act you've done present or pass...
Bob Booey December 16, 2013 at 11:16 AM
The hero worship is amazing. What is the limit on criminal behavior before someone becomes indefensible? "Everyone is a criminal" comment shows the level of insanity in the hero worship. The coolaid has far reaching effects I never knew existed.
archie struthers December 16, 2013 at 11:53 AM
The judge ruled , let it go . So true about he who is without sin!
Eric Sauder December 16, 2013 at 12:05 PM
Good for Harry I suppose, I don't wish anyone harm. Its just that the justification that leaves me feeling uneasy. The public defender, was found to have violated pay to play laws. I was at the council meeting when they voted to extend him. The comments made at that meeting amounted to "well you know he's a nice guy." So I guess if you're a nice guy you're above the law?
Eric Sauder December 16, 2013 at 12:07 PM
I should say "alleged." I wasn't active back then but the offense was admitted.
Eric Sauder December 16, 2013 at 12:09 PM
I agree with Booey. People are sanctioning criminal behavior by the "nice guys."
Dee Knoeller December 16, 2013 at 12:49 PM
what a shame our justice system is. A fraud, a swindler and he gets probation, and 4 months of home monitoring?? What a joke. He could have got up to 20 yrs and 250.000 dollar fine, and all he had to pay was 5.000 dollars? Another joke. So, the moral of this story is, if you have lots of money get a high priced lawyer and get off easy.
Bob Booey December 16, 2013 at 02:18 PM
The religious reference attempting to portray everyone as criminal that has not yet been caught is rather desperate and out of touch with reality. Not all sins rise to the level of fraud and financial destruction of another man. Does this conviction make him a felon?
Duffer December 16, 2013 at 06:10 PM
I don't know about the rest of you but I have never committed fraud but from the sounds of it everyone else does. Hope I never have to do business with any of you. Apparently you all would smile in another's face as you steal from them. Nice. You all are just as despicable as Harry the fraudster.
Frank December 16, 2013 at 10:04 PM
Yet again another expert!
walt hays December 17, 2013 at 04:35 AM
Just to clear up a few loose ends- here is the original indictment in PDF. In summary, the FBI went through 10 yrs of records and found ONE, I repeat, ONE offense that he pleaded guilty to- not many, just ONE- enough said. BTW the OC Gazette has a more detailed account of this- looks like HKC&Ts is out of business- A sad day for OCNJ IMHO http://www.justice.gov/usao/nj/Press/files/pdffiles/2013/Klause,%20Harry%20Information.pdf
Ken McC December 17, 2013 at 07:35 AM
Still wrong, still guilty and that's that.
Bob Booey December 17, 2013 at 05:17 PM
There is more than one person that has had there credit ruined by Mr Klause and his fraud. Greed was the sin here and it was repeated in the real world many times over in this situation.
george December 17, 2013 at 06:05 PM
You need to get your facts straight. And your grammer.
Oceancity Resident December 17, 2013 at 06:11 PM
Cry me a river that a crooked used car salesman got nailed. Really.
Ken McC December 17, 2013 at 06:20 PM
There's a couple people on here crying... Get your hip waders out
Frank December 17, 2013 at 06:36 PM
The judgement here is absolutely unbelievable.
walt hays December 18, 2013 at 08:33 AM
for ocresident- enjoy- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Gn9A-kdsRo
TAR December 22, 2013 at 10:35 PM
Harry was doing his dirt right up to the day he closed. If you have a well connected attorney you can get away with anything. I can tell you there is no way I'll ever vote for Hughes not after seeing the outcome of this case.
Charlene December 22, 2013 at 11:05 PM
There are many people out there who make bad choices.. what about mothers who steal food to feed their children. They get treated much worse than this man and actually serve time for there crimes. No sympathy for them. Money makes people believe they can do what ever they want and the justice system proves them right every time.

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