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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Tennessee

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, August 19, 2014

California Man Sentenced In Scheme To Defraud Nissan

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – August 19, 2014- Bruce Young, 50, of Compton, Calif., was sentenced on August 15, 2014, to 15 months in prison and ordered to pay $78,000 in restitution for his participation in a money laundering scheme that arose out of a scheme to defraud Nissan, announced David Rivera, United States Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee. 

The scheme originated from Kenneth Carter, a former Nissan employee who was employed at Nissan’s Franklin, Tennessee headquarters as an “Arbitration Specialist” from March 2007 through April 2008.  As Arbitration Specialist, Carter’s duties included negotiating with attorneys who brought claims on behalf of Nissan owners, alleging that Nissan had violated “Lemon Laws” or the “Federal Warranty Act.” 

Between March 2007 and April 2008, Carter, along with Bruce Young and other defendants, engaged in a scheme to defraud Nissan by filing false Lemon Law claims on behalf of individuals who owned Nissan vehicles. 

The defendants provided Carter with information obtained from Nissan owners, such as the owner’s name, address, and vehicle identification number.  Carter then used the information to file false and fraudulent Lemon Law claims with Nissan requesting settlement checks.  Once Carter approved the false claims he would cause settlement checks to be issued.  Young and others then directed the Nissan owners to deposit the checks into their bank accounts or to cash the checks and then “kick-back” a portion of the funds received from Nissan. A portion of the funds were then paid to Carter, and the remaining funds were kept by Bruce Young and others.

 According to charging documents, between March 2007 and April 2008, Carter caused approximately 80 false claims to be paid by Nissan, totaling approximately $571,500.

All six persons charged in this case have pleaded guilty.  Bruce Young is the fifth to be sentenced.  The remaining defendant, Kenneth Carter, is scheduled to be sentenced on November 14, 2014.

The case was investigated by the IRS? Criminal Investigation and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.  Assistant United States Attorney Kathryn Ward Booth represents the government. 

Updated March 19, 2015