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A parking garage executive sued along with "Tonight Show" host Jay Leno over their purchases of valuable vintage cars apparently has killed himself in upstate New York.

Police in Warwick said Dennis Ricca died Oct. 17 of a single gunshot wound to the head. The 55-year-old was found behind the wheel of his pickup truck in the driveway of his summer home in Greenwood Lake, about 50 miles northwest of Manhattan. A 9 mm handgun was by his side.

Ricca was found three days after he and Leno were sued by the estate of Macy's department store heir John W. Straus. The lawsuit, filed in state Supreme Court in Manhattan, accuses them of knowingly buying valuable cars after an improper auction rigged to wrest the vehicles from Straus when he was ill.

Court papers said Leno paid $180,000 for a 1931 Duesenberg that was worth $1.2 million, and Ricca bought a 1930 Rolls Royce for an unknown amount. The cars were worth a total of $1.7 million and had been in the Straus family for 75 years, court papers say.

The lawsuit said parking garage owner Garage Management Corp. claimed it auctioned the long-stored cars to satisfy unpaid bills, although they actually had been paid. Ricca was the company's director of maintenance at the Upper East Side garage where the two cars were parked.


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