They really thought they wouldn't get caught?
Used car dealerships often have negative stereotypes, though sincere efforts have been made to change this. Unfortunately, there are still plenty of shady used (and sometimes new) car dealers out there, and this is one of them. According to the Dallas News, Shane Andrew Smith, the chief financial officer of Reagor Dykes Auto Group, has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud to defraud Ford Motor Credit Co. for more than $50 million.
Serving as the ringleader, Smith instructed his employees to purposely mislead the automaker's credit division and banks by falsifying documents, among other crimes. The US Attorney involved in the case, Erin Nealy Cox, stated that Smith and his co-conspirators used scams like check-kiting to defraud lenders.
Basically, employees would cross-deposit check across multiple banks. They took advantage of so-called "float times," the time between when a check is deposited and in the recipient's account and deducted from a payer's account, in order to inflate the dealer's bank balances. And it didn't stop there. These employees then used check-kiting to cover yet another fraudulent practice called "dummy-flooring." This involves employees requesting loans to repurchase cars they already sold, and then used the money to cover other expenses.
They also engaged in creating fake paperwork, also known as "dummy shucks" in order to show that cars had been sold after their true sell date in order to give the dealer additional time to repay loans from Ford.
For his lead role in the scam, Smith faces up to 20 years in prison and his plea agreement also states he must pay back the money in restitution. Good luck coming up with $50 million when you're in the slammer. Authorities also stated the investigation is still ongoing, so who knows what else might be uncovered that could potentially add years and dollars to Smith and co.'s punishments.