A former Illinois car dealer has begun a 42-month federal prison sentence for fraud and money laundering.
Thomas McClain also must pay Ford Motor Credit Co. and a local bank more than $6.8 million for their losses on operating and floorplan loans, U.S. District Judge Michael McCuskey ruled.
McClain, who owned Don McClain Ford in Manteno, submitted fraudulent dealer financial statements so the store would appear to have positive rather than negative month-end cash balances. He took those steps "after exhausting legitimate efforts to keep the dealership," as well as his four other dealerships, "afloat," according to his lawyers' sentencing memorandum.
The scheme, which ran from January 2008 through February 2010, was uncovered in a Ford Credit audit.