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The former controller of a New York BMW dealership faces 20 years in prison for embezzling from the store.Vanessa Vence-Small pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud arising from an embezzlement scheme.According to court documents and statements made in court, Vence-Small was the controller of Felix F. Callari Inc., doing business as Continental BMW of Darien.  From October 2014 to June 2017, Vence-Small made 65 unauthorized electronic fund transfers, totaling $904,659.29, from the dealership’s bank account to her personal American Express account.  Vence-Small also issued and signed 28 checks drawn on the dealership’s bank account, in the total amount of $207,777.78, to pay various third parties, including credit card companies, contractors who performed work at her residence, and a different dealership from which she purchased a car.  She also incurred on company accounts an additional $31,452.08 in unauthorized credit card charges and reimbursements.Vence-Small’s sentencing is scheduled for May 24, at which time she faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years, a fine of up to approximately $2.3 million, and an order of full restitution.Vence-Small is released on a $100,000 bond pending sentencing.
Published in Latest News
Friday, 19 January 2018 15:17

Feds Charge Dealership Staff for Ad Scam

Three people have been arrested for their roles in an alleged advertising scam at a Northern California car dealership.According to the indictment, from at least 2010 to 2016, Amir Bakhtiari orchestrated an embezzlement scheme at Sonnen Motorcars, a dealer group that owned and operated three car dealerships in Marin County - Sonnen Volkswagen, Audi Marin, and Porsche Marin.  From 2009 to 2016, Bakhtiari managed the Volkswagen and Audi dealerships.  Bakhtiari allegedly used his role to initiate a scheme wherein Sonnen made payments on fraudulent invoices to fake advertising vendors who then forwarded the majority of the proceeds from the scam back to Bakhtiari.  The indictment alleges that Arlette Casino, who served as Sonnen’s controller from 2013 to 2016, and Austin Caba, who controlled one of the fake advertising vendors, conspired with Bakhtiari and participated in the scheme since at least 2013. The indictment alleges that Bakhtiari directed approximately $6.3 million in fraudulent transfers from 2010 to 2016. When the money reached the vendor bank accounts, the individuals who controlled these accounts wrote checks back to Bakhtiari for a majority of the funds.  In total, Bakhtiari received approximately $3.6 million via checks in this manner.   According to the indictment, Bakhtiari and Casino also initiated other fraudulent payments to themselves, including bonuses that Bakhtiari falsely claimed were funded by the corporate offices of Volkswagen or Audi.  Bakhtiari and Casino approved the payment of these fraudulent bonuses, knowing they were not authorized by the majority owner of Sonnen Motorcars.  Bakhtiari, Casino, and Caba were all charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud.  Bakhtiari and Caba were also charged with conspiracy to engage in monetary transactions in property derived from specified unlawful activity and engaging in monetary transactions in property derived from specified unlawful activity.
Published in Compliance News
Sunday, 14 January 2018 22:17

Chase Partners with Fintech

Chase announced a partnership with d, a financial technology company that helps customers select and finance vehicles through their automotive dealers’ website and reduce the time it takes to complete the sale. Chase is the first national bank on the AutoFi platform.The AutoFi digital retailing platform connects dealers with buyers and lenders. Chase will deliver financing terms online through the AutoFi platform.
Published in Tech News
Wednesday, 10 January 2018 00:50

State Arrests Dealer for Unpaid Taxes

The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance announced that the owner of two used car dealerships in Syracuse has been arrested for allegedly failing to pay New York State $206,573 in sales tax.
Samy S. Guind operates Auto Hunter Inc. and previously operated the now-shuttered Auto Solution of CNY, Inc. He was arrested by investigators with the Tax Department’s Criminal Investigations Division.
Guindy faces separate felony counts for each company. In both cases, the defendant pleaded not guilty and was released on his own recognizance. 
For the Auto Solution store, Guindy was charged with one count of second degree grand larceny, 11 counts of third degree criminal tax fraud, and 11 counts of first degree offering a false instrument for filing, all felonies. He allegedly underreported sales made at Auto Solution, from December 2010 through August 2015, failing to remit to the state at least $68,856 in sales tax.
For the Auto Hunter store, Guindy was charged with one count of second degree grand larceny, 19 counts of third degree criminal tax fraud, and 19 counts of first degree offering a false instrument for filing, all felonies. He allegedly underreported sales made at Auto Hunter from December 2010 through May 2017, failing to remit at least $137,717 in sales tax.
If convicted, Guindy could face a sentence of up to 15 years in prison.
Published in Crime
Monday, 08 January 2018 19:07

State Charges Employees with Tire Theft

Seven men were arrested on a total of 21 felony charges for their roles in a tire theft ring that involved the Nevada Department of Transportation.According to the complaint, during his employment at the Department of Transportation, Anthony Canada used a State of Nevada credit card to make unlawful purchases of new tires. Canada would then, along with fellow NDOT employees Steve Pappas, David Dinicola and Dale Wageman submit false work orders or labor hours to justify the purchases. The complaint further alleges that Benito DeSantiago, Virgilio Quezada and Richard Matters illegally took possession of these fraudulently obtained tires.Quezada was the only non-NDOT employee.The alleged frauds were committed between December 2014 and April 2015.
Published in Crime
Monday, 01 January 2018 17:42

IADA Warns of Scam Seller

The Michigan Independent Automobile Dealers Association is warning its members to be on the lookout for a 2015 Land Rover Range Rover. 
The VIN is SALGR2VF6FA235771. 
A woman with dark brown hair and brown eyes, around 34 years old, is trying to sell this vehicle. It is a duplicate title issued on Dec. 27.
Published in Auctions
Thursday, 14 December 2017 23:28

Dealer Admits to Financing Non-Existent Cars


A Louisiana car dealer pleaded guilty to taking out loans totaling $177,000 for three cars that didn’t exist.
Larry Wayne Toms Jr. pleaded guilty to one count of bank fraud. 
According to the guilty plea, Toms, who is a car dealer in Bossier City, La., submitted fraudulent loan applications for the purchase of three cars from June 1, 2015 to July 23, 2015 to the Post Office Employees Federal Credit Union in Shreveport. The credit union disbursed $177,000 to Toms. 
The three vehicles listed in loan applications did not exist.
Published in Dealers
Logistics management tool AudoServ announced its technical integrations with AutoIMS and Auction Edge.During testing, AudoServ remarketed 40,000 vehicles through its logistics management system. Currently, integrations with multiple large-scale charities and auto recycling companies are in the works, which will provide the user an even more robust and streamlined experience.  The AudoServ system offers real-time visibility and management of assigned vehicles, from the point of donation to funds settlement.  
Published in Tech News
Sunday, 12 November 2017 23:43

Enterprise Honors Top Auctions

Enterprise Holdings will honor 14 automotive auction partners from across the country with its 2017 Auction Achievement Awards. This annual program recognizes auto auction partners for exceptional services that support Enterprise Holdings' efforts to remarket late-model, low-mileage, well-maintained rental and fleet vehicles to potential buyers. Regional Enterprise Holdings teams present the awards to the auction partners in their area, in two categories: whole-car auctions and damaged-vehicle auctions. Recipients are recognized for exceptional performance in the areas of communication, customer service, marketing and reconditioning, operational success, and strategic planning.The 2017 Auction Achievement Award winners in the whole-car category are:
ADESA Los Angeles (Orange, Calif.) Manheim Central California (Roseville, Calif.) Manheim Cincinnati Manheim Dallas (Irving, Texas) Manheim Fredericksburg (Rockville, Md.) Manheim Omaha (Davenport, Iowa) Manheim San Diego (Orange, Calif.)The 2017 Auction Achievement Award winners in the damaged-vehicle category are:Dealers Auto Auction of the Rockies (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) IAA Atlanta (College Park, Ga.) Manheim Dallas TRA (Irving, Texas) Manheim NJ TRA (Wayne, Pa.) Manheim Southern California TRA (Orange, Calif.) Manheim Tampa TRA Metro Salvage Pool (Davenport, Iowa)
Published in Auctions
Friday, 10 November 2017 02:49

State Hits Auto Dealer with Restraint Order

A Kansas auto dealer has been sued by the state for violating state consumer protection laws and is temporarily banned from doing business.Justin Bogina and his business, Auto Acceptance Center Corp., of Topeka, have been temporarily ordered to refrain from conducting business related to the sale of property or services within the state of Kansas. The state’s attorney general filed a lawsuit against Bogina and his company alleging multiple and recurring violations of Kansas consumer protection law over the past several years and continuing to the present. Among the allegations is that in 2014 Bogina advertised he would donate $100 per vehicle sold during a specific time period to the memorial fund established for Topeka Police Corporal Jason E. Harwood, who was killed in the line of duty on Sept. 7, 2014. However, the defendants did not track the sales for the purpose of making the donation, and no donation was made until April 2016, after the attorney general’s office launched its investigation. The lawsuit also alleges the defendants represented the sale of vehicles to be “as-is,” took possession of a trade-in vehicle without paying the proper balance due and sold vehicles to customers without providing certificates of title, all in violation of the Kansas Consumer Protection Act.
Published in Crime
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Men Face Charges of Defrauding Auto Creditors

Men Face Charges of Defrauding Auto Creditors

Two Pennsylvania men have been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and wire fraud involving straw buys from a used-car dealership.According to...

Auto Stocks Outperform Market

Auto Stocks Outperform Market

The Kerrigan Auto Retail Index (The KAR Index), a composite of the seven publicl...

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