Former Bel Air car dealer R. Brooke Boyle has been sentenced to 90 days in jail for his convictions on fraud and bad check counts.
Boyle, 29, also was ordered yesterday by Harford County Circuit Court Judge William O. Carr to repay $207,000 that prosecutors say he stole or misappropriated from 27 customers, suppliers and other businesses between August 1988 and October 1989, when he was forced out of business.
"You didn't do right by other people," Carr told Boyle at a sentencing hearing. "If I didn't punish you severely, I would be insulting every businessman out there who tries to deal honestly."
Carr sentenced Boyle, whose family has been in the car business in Harford County since the 1930s, to three years on the fraud count and three years on the bad check count. The terms would run concurrently. The judge suspended all but 90 days.
Carr recommended that Boyle serve the 90 days under a work-release program. He also ordered Boyle to serve three years' probation and perform 200 hours of community service.
The sentence stems from an agreement in May in which Boyle, whose Brooke Boyle Motorcars Ltd. was in the 1600 block of Belair Road, pleaded guilty to two criminal counts.
He was originally indicted on 76 counts, including more than 40counts of theft. Prosecutors say many of the charges stemmed from a scheme in which a customer would buy a car and Boyle would agree to satisfy a lien on a traded-in car in return. But he never did, leaving the customer with two car loans to pay.
Christopher J. Romano, an assistant state attorney general who helped prosecute the case, called Boyle a "liar and a thief." He recommended that Boyle serve a year in jail.
But defense attorney William H. Murphy Jr., during the sentencing hearing, attempted to show that Boyle was simply a bad businessman who was "undercapitalized" by his bank. He recommended probation before judgment, or no jail time.