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Justice News

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

Friday, February 21, 2014

California Residents Plead Guilty In Scheme To Defraud Nissan

Francisco DeLaRosa, 40, of West Covina, Calif., and Tracey Young, 45, of Los Angeles, pleaded guilty today before U.S. Chief District Judge William J. Haynes, Jr. to conspiring to launder money derived from a scheme to defraud Nissan North America, announced David Rivera, U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee. 

Young and DeLaRosa each admitted in their plea agreement that from March 2007 through April 2008, they conspired to launder the proceeds that resulted from the scheme to defraud Nissan.  Young and DeLaRosa admitted that they, and others, would approach individuals who owned Nissan vehicles to obtain information such as the owner’s name, address, and vehicle identification number.  They then passed this information to Kenneth Carter a co-defendant and Nissan employee, who used the information to file false and fraudulent claims at Nissan requesting settlement checks. 

After the checks were issued by Nissan to settle the fictitious claims, Young and DeLaRosa, and others, directed the Nissan owners to deposit the checks into their bank accounts or to cash the checks and return funds from the settlement checks to Young and DeLaRosa, who then transferred the funds either directly or indirectly to Kenneth Carter, who was involved in the scheme.  Young admitted she often kept a portion of the proceeds. 

According to the indictment, approximately 80 false claims were filed as part of the scheme, totaling approximately $571,500. 
DeLaRosa agreed to pay restitution of at least $31,500 for his portion of the scheme, and Young agreed to pay restitution in the amount of at least $191,250 for her portion of the scheme.

Sentencing is scheduled for June 13, 2014.  Each defendant faces up to 20 years in prison and a fine of $500,000.

On November 18, 2013, another co-defendant in the case, Adrian Franklin, 40, of Chandler, Arizona, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering. Franklin is scheduled to be sentenced on March 28, 2014.

The indictment that also named three other defendants whose cases are still pending: Kenneth Carter, 44, of Corona, Calif; Bruce Young, 49, of Compton, Calif; and Wendell Young, 34, of Inglewood, Calif.  The indictment charged conspiracy, mail fraud, and conspiracy to commit money laundering, and alleged that Nissan lost approximately $571,500 as a result of the scheme. 

An indictment is merely an accusation and all persons are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.

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

Updated March 19, 2015