Con Man Gets Almost Full Prison Sentence : Courts: The used-car salesman promised marriage but took women for their money. The former Laguna Niguel man was guilty of grand theft and ‘excessive taking.’


A used-car salesman convicted of romancing three women and then swindling them out of $87,000 was sentenced Friday to four years and eight months in prison, just short of the maximum punishment.

Speaking in court for the first time, James Borzynski apologized for the harm he caused and asked for a probation term allowing him to work to repay “every dime” to the women.

“I know there was a lot of pain that was caused,” Borzynski, 46, told Superior Court Commissioner Walter D. Posey. “God only knows how sorry I am for this.”


Borzynski said he made a lot of mistakes after his third wife died in 1988, but that with the help of his family he has changed much in the past 14 to 15 months. His statement brought tears from some of his relatives in the courtroom. Earlier, his nephew, Steve Ashley, asked the commissioner to consider that “there’s also another side to this case.”

The victims were not present in the courtroom for the sentencing hearing, but through Deputy Dist. Atty. Joseph D’Agostino they urged the maximum prison term so that other women would not be harmed.

While the commissioner said he believes Borzynski is remorseful, he sentenced him to prison rather than probation. Posey noted Borzynski’s previous criminal record, including a fraud conviction, and his inability to follow a previous probation term. He also cited a pre-sentencing report that said Borzynski had used 18 aliases, five birth dates, six Social Security numbers and two California driver’s licenses.

Posey said he hoped Borzynski had learned his lesson, but in pronouncing the sentence said: “The bottom line, weighing all this out, I find nothing in mitigation and a lot in aggravation.”

A Superior Court jury deliberated two hours last month before finding the former Laguna Niguel resident guilty of three counts of grand theft and a felony enhancement charge of “excessive taking.”

Jurors said they had little difficulty because they believed the five women who testified against him. The women described how Borzynski posed as a Newport Beach lawyer in trouble with the Internal Revenue Service and promised them love and marriage to wheedle them out of their money. Some had met him when he responded to personal ads they had placed in newspapers.


Only three of the women, all Orange County residents, pressed charges. However, the other two came from Northern California to testify as witnesses during the weeklong trial. One woman said she had broken off an engagement with her boyfriend and gave up a 19-year career with Delta Airlines after Borzynski started romancing her.

Borzynski’s lawyer, Dennis O’Connell, contended during the trial that his client did nothing wrong because he was always honest about having financial difficulties and that the emotional nature of the case made it difficult for his client “to prevail.”

O’Connell argued Friday that justice would be better served if Borzynski were placed on probation and allowed to continue working to repay his victims. O’Connell said his client had the chance to continue working for a Newark, Calif., auto dealership that pays him $80,000 to $100,000 a year.

But D’Agostino said the victims were more interested in seeing Borzynski punished and urged a maximum term of five years and four months. He said the case was not just about money, it involved “emotional crippling.” He likened Borzynski’s scheme to a rape.

“He wormed his way into their emotional livelihood,” D’Agostino said. “He convinced them he would marry them. . . . He convinced them he would live happily ever after with them.”

Borzynski was arrested in Tiburon, Calif., in 1993 after 10 women alleged he swindled them out of as much as $150,000. His arrest came just one day after he had reconciled with his fourth wife, according to court records.


As part of the sentence, the commissioner opened the way for two of the three women in the case to seek restitution from Borzynski in civil court.