6 men indicted in alleged $1.2 million schemes to defraud banks, car dealerships

Published: Nov. 9, 2016 at 12:52 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 9, 2016 at 1:04 PM EST
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LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Six men have been indicted in an $1.2 million scheme involving stolen cars, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Kentucky.

A jury trial is scheduled to begin in Louisville on Dec. 19.

Christopher Peplinski, 42, formerly of Orion, MI, was arraigned Tuesday on charges of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and money laundering. Jamsey Havens, 41, and Ronald Lovell, 34, of Louisville, and Jasen Coon, 38, of Miami, were previously arraigned and remain in federal custody on the same charges as Peplinski. David Farnsworth, 50, and Danny Coslow Jr. of Louisville also face the same charges and remain on bond pending the December trial.

According to the indictment, the defendants opened bank accounts in Louisville, Michigan and Florida under company names designed to appear as legitimate businesses and car dealerships, such as 24/7 Motors, FTD Motors, Auto Advantage Company, Gulf Coast Holdings, VMCD Corp., and VMD Direct Procession. Then, over a two-year period from June 2013 to June 2015, the men allegedly carried out several schemes to defraud banks and auto dealerships of more than $1.2 million.

The indictment states the schemes included purchasing vehicles with no intention of repaying the loans by reporting that the transactions were make by someone else who had stolen their identification; applying for and receiving loans from banks, then using fraudulent car purchase invoices from their illegitimate businesses to give the impression that cars were being purchased when, in fact, no cars were purchased and the loan proceeds were deposited for their own personal use.

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Another alleged scheme involved the defendants obtaining multiple car loans for the same car to make it appear as though a vehicle had been sold multiple times when, in fact, the defendants still possessed the car. The defendants are also accused of creating false documents to make it appear that bank leins had been paid in full when they had not.

If convicted, each defendant could face up to 20 years in prison for conspiracy to commit mail fraud and up to 10 years for each count of money laundering by engaging in monetary transactions over $10,000, and up to 20 years per count of money laundering transactions designed to conceal the proceeds of fraud.

In addition, Havens is charged with a single count of identity theft, which carries and additional sentence of no less than two years in prison.

All of the suspects are subject to forteiture of any property derived from the alleged offenses, could be required to pay fines, and could be ordered to serve a term of supervised release.

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