Michael David Surette, a Dartmouth, Nova Scotia-based auto dealer who formally worked at Used Car Factory 21, has been sentenced to 44 months in prison and ordered to pay $38,841 in restitution for a fraud scheme spanning two-and-a-half years, according to provincial court filings.
Surette pled guilty to 14 counts of auto fraud, in which he took money from “vulnerable victims” of “modest financial means” for vehicles he had no intention of delivering, the documents noted. In all, Surette defrauded victims out of $43,310. He also pled guilty to two counts of violating a 2017 order that required him to “not be employed in any capacity where [he] handled financing transactions.”
The defendant offered no explanation as to why he defrauded consumers, according to the filing, except that the opportunity was there. Surette dodged customers’ emails and phone calls for months at a time and abandoned his brick-and-mortar location in the summer of 2016.
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