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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Missouri

Friday, December 2, 2016

Former GM of Local Car Dealership Indicted on Federal Fraud Charges

St. Louis, MO – William Cafarella was indicted on multiple fraud charges involving his scheme to obtain in excess of $395,000 in fraudulent proceeds from West County Honda, causing more than $1.8 million in losses to the dealership.

According to the indictment, Cafarella was employed as the General Manager of West County Honda in Ellisville, MO. As part of his contract, Cafarella received monthly bonuses equal to 10% of the profits earned by West County Honda. 

Between September 2011 through June 2013, it is alleged that Cafarella caused fictitious entries to be made in the books of account of West County Honda, misrepresenting to the ownership the profitability of the dealership in order to increase his bonuses. According to the indictment, Cafarella caused West County Honda to report 308 cars having been sold that in actuality had not been sold, causing the manufacturer’s warranty to begin running on each of those cars and decreasing the value of those vehicles to the dealership. The indictment alleges that Cafarella also pocketed more than $50,000 in bribes and kickbacks from third parties that did business with West County Honda, which deprived West County Honda of Cafarella’s honest services. 

Cafarella, Davie, Florida, was indicted by a federal grand jury late Thursday December 1, on four felony counts of wire fraud and one felony count of mail fraud.

If convicted each count of the indictment carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and/or fines up to $250,000. In determining the actual sentences, a judge is required to consider the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide recommended sentencing ranges. 

The case is being investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Richard Finneran is handling the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

As is always the case, charges set forth in an indictment are merely accusations and do not constitute proof of guilt.  Every defendant is presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty. 

Updated December 23, 2016