FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, August 23, 2012
For Information Contact:
Man Arrested, Charged with Series of Car Loan Scams
- Allegedly Posed as Car Dealer to Get Loans for Cars He Didn’t Own -
WASHINGTON -- Benjamin Grey, 32, of no fixed address, has been arrested and charged with bank fraud in connection with a scheme to defraud individuals and banks of over $150,000 by falsely promising to sell them luxury cars, announced U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr., David Beach, Special Agent in Charge of the Washington Field Office of the U.S. Secret Service, and Cathy L. Lanier, Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).
Grey was arrested last night following an investigation by the Washington Field Office of the U.S. Secret Service and the MPD. He pled not guilty this afternoon in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The Honorable Magistrate Judge John M. Facciola ordered that Grey remain held without bond pending a court hearing on Aug. 31, 2012.
As alleged in court filings, Grey claimed that he ran a car dealership called “Planet Cars” and offered to sell luxury cars, such as BMWs. With Grey’s representations about the car purchase, victims obtained auto loans from banks. After they gave Grey the auto loan checks, however, he never provided the cars. In fact, according to the court filings, Grey never owned the cars in question.
The court filings allege that five separate times in 2009, including four times in October 2009 alone, Grey fraudulently obtained auto loan proceeds in this way. Each of the auto loans was between $29,000 and $35,000. The victimized banks included BB&T and Navy Federal Credit Union, according to the court filings.
If convicted, Grey faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine.
A complaint is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed a violation of criminal laws and is not evidence of guilt. Every defendant is presumed innocent until, and unless, proven guilty.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jonathan Hooks and Christopher Kavanaugh. The investigation is ongoing.