Ex-dealer likely to plead guilty to lender fraud
A former car dealer in Grand Rapids, Minn., is expected to plead guilty to defrauding her floorplan lender of $1.5 million by exaggerating the cost of vehicles brought into inventory at her Ford store, federal court records show.
The indictment alleged that Jodi Anne Montavon, former owner of Montavon Motors, sold financed vehicles without promptly repaying the amounts advanced by American Bank of the North and that she concealed "substantial recurring cash flow problems" through false monthly statements. She also allegedly transferred more than $42,000 from the store's operating account to pay an American Express business credit card account that included personal charges from a Virgin Islands trip.
In 2010, the bank won a $1.9 million judgment against her and the company.
Court files show a Nov. 16 court appearance to change her not-guilty plea, but that date was expected to be rescheduled. Defense lawyer David Malban of Duluth said he couldn't comment on the case.
Charges expected to be dropped
Charges of insurance fraud and obtaining property by false pretenses against the body shop manager at a Toyota store in Roanoke Rapids, N.C., are expected to be dismissed within the next month, according to his defense lawyer.
The charges against Julius Broady were based on an allegedly fraudulent supplemental estimate for repairs on a 2010 Venza at Bones Toyota. According to the arrest warrant, Broady submitted fraudulent information to North Carolina Farm Bureau Insurance Co. for the work.
The estimate stated that the vehicle had been damaged in an accident, but much of the damage occurred when a shop employee accidentally caused a fire, according to the warrant and defense lawyer Gilbert Chichester of Roanoke Rapids. The North Carolina Department of Insurance said the insurer declared the car a total loss and paid about $31,000 to settle the claim.
Chichester said that neither Broady nor the dealership received any of the insurance proceeds and that the charges will be dropped because the dealership's liability insurer is reimbursing Farm Bureau.
Store employee forged checks
A former employee in a suburban Chicago car dealership's accounts receivable and payable department has been convicted of felony theft for forging more than 20 customer refund checks and keeping the money.
Marie Terranova carried out the scheme between July 2010 and October 2011 while working for Dan Wolf Chevrolet of Naperville (Ill.), according to the indictment.
DuPage County Circuit Judge Blanche Fawell sentenced Terranova to two years' probation and ordered her to pay $22,208 in restitution.
You can reach Eric Freedman at firstname.lastname@example.org.