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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, May 17, 2013

Six Indicted For Scheme To Defraud Nissan

Acting United States Attorney David Rivera announced the unsealing of an indictment today charging Kenneth Carter, 44, of Corona, Calif., Francisco DeLaRosa, 40, of West Covina, Calif., Adrian Franklin, 39, of Chandler, Arizona, Bruce Young, 49, of Compton, Calif., Tracey Young, 45, of Los Angeles and Wendell Young, 34, of Inglewood, Calif., with conspiracy, mail fraud, and conspiracy to commit money laundering for their involvement in a scheme to defraud Nissan North America of more than $571,500.

According to the indictment, between March 2007 and April 2008, Kenneth Carter was employed as an “Arbitration Specialist” at the Franklin, Tennessee headquarters of Nissan North America. In that role, he was responsible for negotiating settlement of claims brought on behalf of Nissan owners, alleging that Nissan had violated “Lemon Laws” or the “Federal Warranty Act.” 

The indictment alleges that from March 2007 through April 2008, the defendants defrauded Nissan by filing false  claims under the “Federal Warranty Act”.  To accomplish the scheme, the defendants, and/or others acting on their behalf, would approach individuals who owned Nissan vehicles to obtain information such as the owner’s name, address, and vehicle identification number.  Carter then used the information to create and cause to be filed, false and fraudulent claims on behalf of the Nissan owners, requesting compensation in the form of settlement checks.  Once the checks were issued by Nissan, the defendants directed the Nissan owners to cash the checks or deposit the checks into their bank accounts.  Thereafter, the defendants instructed the Nissan owners to pay them  a portion of the funds they received from Nissan, with a portion of those funds kicked back and shared between Carter and the other defendants.
During the term of the scheme, Carter filed approximately 80 false claims, resulting in fraudulent payments by Nissan North America totaling approximately $571,500. 

If convicted, the defendants face up to 20 years on each mail fraud count, 20 years on the count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, 5 years on the count of conspiracy, and 5 years on the count of obstruction of justice.                                                                                                            

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

An indictment is merely an accusation and is not evidence of guilt.  Defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.

Updated March 19, 2015