Exec at Dallas Used Car Dealer Admits Role in $50 Million Scam Targeting Ford, Banks

The chief financial officer for a Dallas used car dealership on Tuesday admitted defrauding a Ford lending service and several banks, officials said.Shane Andrew Smith, 45, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud, outlining how he and his employees misled the Ford Motor Credit Co. and various banks by falsifying documents. The scam cost its victims more than $50 million, which Smith must pay back in restitution, according to his plea agreement. "From 'dummy flooring' to check-kiting, this was blatant, large-scale fraud," U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox said in a news release. A Department of Justice news release detailed how Smith, the CFO at Reagor Dykes Auto group, used scams like check-kiting to defraud lenders. Employees would cross-deposit checks across multiple banks, taking advantage of the "float times," the time between when a check is deposited in a recipient's account and deducted from a payer's account, to inflate the company's bank balances.The need to check-kite arose from another fraudulent practice Reagor-Dykes engaged in: dummy-flooring, where employees would request loans to repurchase cars they had sold, then use the money to cover other expenses.The dealership's accountants would also create false paperwork they called "dummy shucks" to show cars had been sold after their true sell date so the company would have additional time to repay loans from Ford.Smith faces up to 20 years in prison. Cox said the investigation is ongoing.  Continue reading...

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