News and Press Releases

Jerome Garsjo Sentenced in U.S. District Cour

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Bill Mercer, United States Attorney for the District of Montana, announced today that during a federal court session in Billings, on November 12, 2009, before Chief U.S. District Judge Richard F. Cebull, JEROME GARSJO, age 65, appeared for sentencing. GARSJO was sentenced to a term of:

  • Prison: 12 months and 1 day
  • Special Assessment: $100
  • Restitution: $358,384.56
  • Supervised Release: 5 years

GARSJO was sentenced in connection with his guilty plea to bank fraud.

In an Offer of Proof filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan M. Archer, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:

GARSJO was the owner of J&S Auto Sales, which was in the business of buying, trading, and selling used vehicles. GARSJO obtained a flooring line of credit from Little Horn State Bank in the amount of $450,000.

Beginning on December 12, 2006, through June 12, 2007, GARSJO floored vehicles in excess of their value. Specifically, he overstated the price he paid for traded vehicles. This inflated the price of vehicles by providing false paperwork to the bank and forging the signatures of the sellers in order to artificially inflate the value of the vehicle.

This conduct resulted in GARSJO drawing off more funds from the bank than he was entitled to and losing a substantial amount of money since the cars used as collateral were not worth what he said they were. The bank ultimately had to charge off over $350,000 as a result of GARSJO'S misrepresentations.

When questioned on October 22, 2008, GARSJO admitted that he had created invoices to reflect an adjusted and inflated vehicle value and then used these invoices to obtain money from his flooring line of credit at Little Horn State Bank.

Because there is no parole in the federal system, the "truth in sentencing" guidelines mandate that GARSJO will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, GARSJO does have the opportunity to earn a sentence reduction for "good behavior." However, this reduction will not exceed 15% of the overall sentence.

The investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.



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