Buick-GMC dealership, three others, indicted in Pa. for fraudulent loan scheme
A federal grand jury has indicted a western Pennsylvania dealership and three men accused of wire fraud stemming from submitting bogus loan applications.
Between May 2015 and March 2016, Rick Weaver Buick-GMC Inc., Adam Weaver, Douglas Grooms and Adam Coover “knowingly, willfully and unlawfully conspired and agreed together to commit the crime of wire fraud,” court documents said.
The 12-count indictment was released Sept. 13 in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania.
Rick Weaver Buick-GMC is in Erie, Pa.
Adam Weaver was the majority owner of the dealership, Grooms was the general manager and Coover was majority owner of Infinity Automotive and Infinity Transport.
Court documents said that Coover utilized two straw individuals to purchase vehicles that would ultimately stay in Coover’s possession through Infinity Automotive and Infinity Transport.
Coover had the straw individuals sign purchase and loan paperwork for multiple vehicles. Court documents said the paperwork had already been prepared prior to their arrival at Weaver Buick GMC.
The indictment also said that the paperwork was processed and finalized by employees of Rick Weaver Buick-GMC at the direction of Adam Weaver and Grooms.
Weaver and Grooms submitted loan applications to various financial institutions and other vehicle loan providers by using the computer systems at the dealership, while knowing that the claims and representations were false and fraudulent, court documents said.
Additionally, the defendants hid and omitted material facts from the vehicle loan applications for the straw individuals.
The wire fraud resulted in vehicle sales to the straw individuals with corresponding vehicle loans worth $649,824.44 . An additional $320,727 in vehicle purchases were not completed because financial institutions refused to provide a loan after the application was submitted.
If convicted of the charges, the defendants could face penalties of up to 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine.
In July, Grooms pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and was given a two-year sentence. He was also ordered to pay restitution of $485,800 from a previous incident of wire fraud, court document said.
Between June 2008 and September 2013, Grooms, as the general manager at Community Chevrolet in Meadville, Pa., wrote 34 Community Chevrolet checks to Bullseye Marketing, a fictitious company he created.
A separate 11-count indictment released on Tuesday also named Coover, as well as Brian A. Vergotz , as two co-defendants in a separate fraud scheme.
From May 2015 till March 2016 Coover and Vergotz, a car salesman, used straw individuals to purchase vehicles from Vergotz.
Coover and Vergotz made false and fraudulent claims and representations on behalf of the straw individuals’ vehicle purchases and loan applications to various financial institutions and loan providers, court documents said.
The alleged scheme resulted in vehicle sales by Vergotz with corresponding loans worth $539,671.61.
The wire fraud charges could result in a maximum 30-year prison sentence and $1 million fine.
Erie News Now reported on the indictments on Tuesday.
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