More than a dozen credit unions across the country were hit with a fake car loan scheme perpetrated by three conspirators found guilty last week.
The fraudulent acts were first revealed in March when the suspects were accused of obtaining $1 million in auto loans, according to court documents filed by federal prosecutors in U.S. District Court in Charlotte, N.C.
Kimberlie Flemings, Stanley Barron, and Brian Lyles submitted dozens of fraudulent auto and personal loan applications in their names and in the names of “at least 30 other individuals they had recruited to participate in the scheme,” announced Andrew Murray, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina.
The conspirators also created fake purchase orders, which were submitted to the financial institutions as part of the loan applications. The majority of the loans defaulted, which caused losses for the financial institutions involved.
After the fake auto loan applications were submitted, the conspirators created fake auto dealerships and pretended to be the sellers of the vehicles purchased with the fraudulent loans. Additionally, bank accounts, false websites, and addresses associated with the fake auto dealerships were created.
In an attempt to cover up the fraud, the conspirators made false statements to the defrauded banks and credit unions that attempted to collect on the debts, including a lie that tried to convince the financial institutions that borrowers had been the victims of identity theft and that they had not authorized the loans.
Though a sentencing date has not been set, each of the charges the defendant was convicted of carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine.
Listed are the credit unions involved:
- Navy FCU in Vienna, Va.
- Pentagon FCU in Tysons Corner, Va.
- State Employees CU in Raleigh, N.C.
- Aliant Federal Credit Union in Chicago
- Digital FCU in Marlborough, Mass.
- Patelco CU in Pleasanton, Calif.
- Affinity FCU in Basking Ridge, N.J.
- NASA FCU in Upper Marlboro, Md.
- Chartway FCU in Virginia Beach City, Va.
- USAlliance FCU in Rye, N.Y.
- McGraw-Hill FCU in East Windsor, N.J.
- Air Force FCU in San Antonio, Texas
- Garden Savings FCU in Parsippany, N.J.
- Credit Union of New Jersey in Ewing
- Atlantic FCU in Kenilworth, N.J.