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Former Dealership Big Shot Made Millions With Fake Car Sales

Crime / 3 Comments

And fraudulent loan applications. The Feds aren't happy.

When you're dealing with millions of dollars that's not yours, sometimes temptation gets the better of some and they proceed to do illegal acts in order to obtain that money for themselves. That's called stealing, and the US government has accused the former president of the National Independent Automobile Dealers Association of defrauding four banks and credit unions and even General Motors. How so?

Automotive News reports that Andrew Gabler, 50, who also ran Lakeside Auto Group dealerships, allegedly used fake vehicle sales and fraudulent loan applications to pocket millions of dollars. His accomplice was his former finance manager, Chad Bednarski, 48. In a 17-count federal indictment issued last week, a grand jury has now charged the duo with conspiracy, bank fraud and wire fraud.

Mueller/Chevrolet
Mueller/Chevrolet
Mueller/Chevrolet

Gabler, who previously owned a couple of now-closed GM dealerships in Pennsylvania, and Bednarski began their alleged misgivings back in January 2015 and this went on for exactly four years to the month. The indictment states the two inflated customers' income and falsely indicated these people made down payments on car loan applications to financial institutions. They also took money from customers for service contracts and never sent in the payments or paperwork to the vendor. Turns out selling vehicles and not repaying lenders for floorplan loans is also quite illegal. There's actually an industry term for this practice called selling out of trust.

The two are also accused of submitting fake buyers' order to S&T Bank of Indiana, Pennsylvania, one of the lenders that provided Gabler's dealership with vehicle floorplan financing. It didn't stop there. The two are also being accused of reporting fake car sales electronically to GM in order to get expiring incentive rebates.

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Lake Side Auto Group via Facebook
Lake Side Auto Group via Facebook
Lake Side Auto Group via Facebook

For example, one was on November 30, 2017 for a $3,000 rebate on a 2017 Chevrolet Corvette. Another three applications were submitted the following July, two for $4,000 rebates on 2017 Buick LaCrosses and another $4,000 rebate for another unnamed Buick. The numbers add up fast. It appears Gabler and Bednarski were the only two at Lakeside Auto Group involved with the scheme, which led to $1.9 million in losses for S&T Bank alone. Someone at the bank noticed something was fishy because it sued Gabler and his dealership late last year for over $5.6 million in misreported sales.

Gabler's home and Lakeside Auto Groups dealerships were searched by the FBI last January. This would also explain Gabler's sudden resignation as NIADA president at the same time. If convicted, Gabler faces up to 510 years (not a typo) in prison and a $17 million fine. Bednarski? Up to 330 years in the slammer and an $11 million fine.

Jessica Lynn Walker via Buick
Jessica Lynn Walker via Buick
Jessica Lynn Walker via Buick

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