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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Former Nissan Employee And Two Others Plead Guilty In Scheme To Defraud Nissan

Kenneth Carter, 45, of Corona, Calif., Wendell Young, 34, of Inglewood, Calif., and Bruce Young, 50, of Compton, Calif., pleaded guilty on March 7, 2014, to participating in a scheme to defraud Nissan North America, announced United States Attorney David Rivera.  They will be sentenced by Judge William J. Haynes, Jr. on May 30, 2014. 

Kenneth Carter pleaded guilty to all counts in the indictment, including conspiracy to commit mail fraud, three counts of mail fraud, and conspiracy to commit money laundering.  Carter faces up to 20 years in prison and a fine of $500,000 on the conspiracy to commit money laundering count, up to 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 on each of the mail fraud counts, and up to five years in prison and a fine of $250,000 on the conspiracy to commit mail fraud count.

Wendall Young and Bruce Young entered into plea agreements with the government whereby each pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering. 

According to the indictment, from March 2007 through April 2008 Kenneth Carter was employed at Nissan’s Franklin, Tennessee headquarters as an “Arbitration Specialist.”  In that role, his duties were to negotiate with attorneys who brought claims on behalf of Nissan owners, alleging that Nissan had violated “Lemon Laws” or the Federal Warranty Act. 

The indictment alleged that the defendants engaged in a scheme to defraud Nissan.  Bruce Young and Wendell Young, among others, would approach individuals who owned Nissan vehicles to obtain information such as the owner’s name, address, and vehicle identification numbers.  Carter then used this information to file false and fraudulent claims at Nissan, requesting settlement checks.  Once the checks were issued, Bruce Young, Wendell Young, and others directed the Nissan owners to deposit the checks into their bank accounts or to cash the checks.

Bruce Young and Wendell Young then told the Nissan owners to pay them a portion of the funds the owners received from Nissan.  A portion of those funds were then paid to Carter and Bruce Young and Wendell Young kept a portion of those proceeds for themselves.  During the course of the scheme, Carter filed approximately 80 false claims, totaling approximately $571,500.

A total of six defendants were charged in the indictment and these guilty pleas represent the final 3 defendants.  The three other defendants previously entered guilty pleas, including Adrian Franklin, 40, of Chandler, Arizona, who pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering on November 18, 2013, and Francisco DeLaRosa, 40, of West Covina, Calif., and Tracey Young, 45, of Los Angeles, Calif., each pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering on February 21, 2014.

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