A former dealer for Pompano Beach, Fla.-based Champion Porsche has pled guilty to a fraud scheme racking up $3 million.
The fraudster, Shiraaz Sookralli, pled guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud. He is scheduled for sentencing on Nov. 14 and faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of Florida.
To facilitate the scheme, Sookralli would sell non-existent exotic Porsche models and did so with 30 customers. He’d require buyers to provide deposits in the form of wire transfers, bank checks and cash that he later deposited into his shell company’s bank account. Sookralli opened the shell company in 2017 with a name similar to the Champion Porsche dealership for which he worked in order to trick buyers, according to the Department of Justice’s press release.
On top of that, Sookralli leveraged a title as “vice president of marketing” for Champion Porsche to ramp up his credibility. He would tell buyers they’d receive a “yet-to-be-built” Porsche vehicle and provided customers with falsely signed and fraudulent purchase orders and fake vehicle build sheets showing the specifications of the customers’ vehicle. Champion Porsche did not authorize Sookralli to conduct these transactions.
Since the scheme has been uncovered, Champion Porsche has contacted his victims and began its cooperation with the criminal investigation, the DOJ noted. All of Sookralli’s victims with valid claims were made whole by Champion.