Four Accused of Fraudulently Registering Vehicles in Missouri
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Missouri
ST. LOUIS –Four people have been indicted in U.S. District Court in St. Louis and accused of fraudulently registering vehicles in Missouri, including three former employees of driver license offices.
Gary Wilds, 46, Megan Leone, 40, Michelle Boyer, 51, and Ashlyn Graeff, 38, were each indicted by a grand jury October 25 with one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud. Wilds was also indicted on four counts of wire fraud, four counts of aggravated identity theft and six counts of making a false statement. Leone also faces four counts of wire fraud and two counts of making a false statement. Boyer faces five counts of wire fraud and Graeff faces five counts of wire fraud and four counts of making a false statement.
Wilds was arrested and appeared in court Tuesday, where he pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Boyer, Graeff and Leone worked for contract license offices, the indictment says. The indictment accuses Wilds of paying them up to $100 for each vehicle that they fraudulently registered via their access to Missouri Department of Revenue computers. Wilds provided his customers’ names, license plate numbers, VIN number and motor vehicle title number and the employees falsely represented in the DOR database that they had verified emissions inspections, safety inspections, the payment of personal property taxes and proof of insurance, the indictment says. Wilds is also accused of using forged and fraudulent forms seeking an exemption for Missouri businesses seeking to register trucks weighing more than 24,000 pounds or trailers. Wilds would keep the sales taxes that vehicle owners had paid him, the indictment says, as well as a nominal fee that he charged owners for handling the paperwork.
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.
The conspiracy and wire fraud charges each carry a potential penalty of up to 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, or both prison and a fine. The charge of making a false statement carries a potential penalty of up to five years in prison, a $250,000 fine, or both. Each aggravated identity theft charge is punishable by two years in prison, consecutive to any other charge.
The case was investigated by the Missouri Department of Revenue and the FBI. Assistant U.S. Attorney Tracy Berry is prosecuting the case.
Updated October 31, 2023