Robert Yarbrough wanted to work his way up the ladder at Infiniti of Denver, where he was hired as a $13-an-hour vehicle detailer. But not enough to go to prison for it.
Yarbrough alleges that a store manager pressured him to steal a customer's Porsche Cayman in order to clear the way for an Infiniti sale, according to a lawsuit filed in district court in Arapahoe County, Colo. He says he was fired for refusing to do so.
Yarbrough alleges that the Infiniti dealership's new-car sales manager, Tony Drees, repeatedly asked Yarbrough to steal the Porsche and "get rid of it" because the customer no longer wanted to make the monthly payments for it.
He alleges that Drees assured him that the keys would be left in the Porsche and that taking it would not constitute theft.
"We believe this is a frivolous lawsuit," said Michelle Magruder, a lawyer representing Drees. In a response to the suit, Drees calls the allegations "vexatious and false."
Drees counterclaims that Yarbrough had been given the additional job of inventory manager at the dealership. While Yarbrough held that position, his response said, five vehicles were stolen from the lot.
Drees contends Yarbrough was fired because of the missing dealership vehicles.
Yarbrough's lawsuit also alleges he reported the requests to the dealership's general manager, Chris Smith, but that Drees again asked Yarbrough to steal. This month Smith and two other individuals completed their acquisition of the dealership, which had been owned by financially troubled Columbus, Ohio, dealer Dan Schmidt.
In a separate court case, Schmidt was alleged by his lender, KeyBank, to have defaulted on more than $50 million in debt.