A Fremont, Neb.-based dealership was indicted in federal court on Nov. 15 after obtaining nearly $10 million in lines of credit by allegedly deceiving lenders through submissions of false statements, according to the Department of Justice U.S. Attorney’s Office District of Nebraska.
In total, used-car dealership group Siemer Auto Center defrauded financial institutions of payments causing losses of $9.7 million in lines of credit from Westlake Flooring Co., Automotive Capital Services (ACS), and the United Republic Bank in Omaha (URB), according to court documents.
To obtain the lines of credit, Siemer allegedly sent false financial statements to Westlake, ACS, and URB that failed to include the lines of credit the dealer had received from a fourth lender, Eide Wholesale, The Omaha World-Herald reports.
According to court documents, Siemer used the lines of credit to purchase vehicles at auction to resell, but never repaid the amounts borrowed. Instead, dealership owner Jason Siemer allegedly used the credit lines for personal expenses. The credit lines were left with $3 million outstanding when the dealership permanently closed in December 2016.
Additionally, Siemer allegedly received loans from multiple lenders for the purchase of the same vehicle. In one instance, Siemer borrowed $26,200 from URB and acquired the same amount from Eide to buy the same car, according to court documents.
Consumers also face repercussions from the fraudulent activity. Customers who purchased vehicles from the dealership close to the time of its closing never received the titles for their vehicles.
Siemer faces 13 counts of wire fraud, two counts of making false statements on loan applications, and one count of money laundering. A maximum sentence on all charges totals 330 years behind bars. A hearing is scheduled for December 5.