News and Press Releases

News and Press Releases

Former Ford dealership owner in Grand Rapids indicted for scheme to defraud bank of $1.5 million

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 25, 2012


MINNEAPOLIS—Last week in federal court, the former owner of Montavon Motors, a Ford dealership in Grand Rapids, was indicted for devising and executing a scheme to defraud American Bank of the North of approximately $1.5 million. Jodi Anne Montavon, age 47, of Grand Rapids, was charged with one count of bank fraud and one count of engaging in a monetary transaction in criminally derived property. The indictment, which was filed on October 15, 2012, was unsealed on October 19, 2012.

According to the indictment, Montavon exaggerated the cost of vehicles brought into inventory at her Ford dealership so that she could borrow more from American Bank of the North than the cars were actually worth. Montavon was allegedly selling financed vehicles without promptly repaying the amount advanced by the bank to acquire them. In addition, she purportedly provided false monthly statements to the bank to conceal recurring cash flow problems at Montavon Motors. In particular, Montavon allegedly provided the bank a false statement of Montavon Motor operations for the month of October 2008 which concealed substantial net operating losses for the dealership in 2008.

The indictment also alleges that Montavon transferred $42,069.98 from the Operating Account to American Express to pay off the balance owed on a Montavon Motors business credit card account that included personal charges incurred during a personal trip to the Virgin Islands.

If convicted, Montavon faces a potential maximum penalty of 30 years in federal prison for one count of bank fraud and 10 years for one count of engaging in a monetary transaction in criminally derived property. All sentences are ultimately determined by a federal district court judge. This case is the result of an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigations and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney David J. MacLaughlin.

An indictment is a determination by a grand jury that there is probable cause to believe that offenses have been committed by a defendant. A defendant, of course, is presumed innocent until he or she pleads guilty or is proven guilty at trial.

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