The CEO of a credit repair agency has been named as the ringleader of a more than $5 million scheme that defrauded several major auto lenders out of more than 100 vehicles, according to the San Diego County District Attorney's Office.
The fraud ring is accused of, among other things, credit washing, a type of fraud where customers falsely report identity theft to remove legitimate trade lines from their credit report.
Three quarters of the more than 100 vehicles identified became the primary focus of the investigation, according to a statement released by the district attorney's office Friday. Those vehicles, which included high-end luxury vehicles, motor homes, recreational vehicles and water crafts, were worth about $3.75 million.
Honda Financial Services, Capital One Auto Finance, Wells Fargo Auto Finance, Toyota Financial Services, Ford Motor Credit, Chrysler Capital and Lexus Financial Services were among the affected lenders, according to several criminal complaints filed in the Superior Court of California County.
Bryan Orr, CEO of San Diego credit repair agency Patriot Financial, is accused of leading 20 co-conspirators in fraudulently purchasing vehicles, following an 18-month investigation by the San Diego County Regional Auto Theft Task Force, referred to as Operation Blindside.
Beginning in December 2017, Orr started several scams that involved felonious activities including but not limited to money laundering, auto theft, grand theft and theft by false pretense, the district attorney's office said in the statement.
A spokeswoman from the office said she could not comment because the case remains open and ongoing.