Fraudster gets 4 years in prison for $1M auto scheme

© Can Stock Photo / welcomia

More than a year after 15 credit unions across the country were hit with a fake car loan scheme, Kimberlie Flemings was sentenced by the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina to more than four years in federal prison for the scheme, which racked up more than $1 million in fake loan applications.

As the ringleader, Flemings has also been ordered to pay more than $600,000 in restitution, according to the Department of Justice. Two of Flemings’ co-conspirators, Stanley Reginald Barron and Brian Lyles previously were convicted and sentenced to 18 months and 15 months in prison, respectively, for their involvement in the fraud.

According to new evidence presented Jan. 30 during Flemings’ trial, from 2012 to 2015, the three conspirators submitted dozens of fraudulent auto and personal loan applications to at least 19 banks and credit unions in their names, and in the names of 30 additional individuals, they had recruited to participate in the scheme. In two cases, the fraudulent applications were submitted in the name of a deceased individual and elderly disabled veteran.

To facilitate the fraud, the conspirators created false auto dealerships to “sell” the vehicles with the fraudulent auto loans, as well as creating false purchase orders, which were submitted to the financial institutions as part of the loan applications. The majority of the loans defaulted, causing losses for the financial institutions involved.

Additionally, bank accounts, false websites and addresses associated with the fake auto dealerships were created. Flemings, Barron and Lyles generally deposited the fraudulently obtained checks from the financial institutions into accounts controlled by Barron.

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.

The following credit unions were defrauded in the scheme:

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