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Ex-lawmaker, ex-mayor charged in illegal auto fees scheme

September 25, 2018

EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island authorities say a former state lawmaker and a former mayor were among three people charged with illegally collecting fees from customers at a used car dealership.

State police said they arrested former state Rep. Thomas Palangio, of Cranston, former East Providence Mayor Bruce Rogers, of East Providence, and Anthony Pate, of Cranston.

Police say they collected more than $150,000 in fees from 31 customers at the now closed dealership.

Police allege the illegal fees included a warranty fee for a warranty that was already included in the cost of the vehicle, and an insurance cap fee they were not allowed to charge because they do not have a license to sell auto insurance.

The suspects are scheduled to appear in court later Tuesday. It’s unclear who their lawyers are.

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