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Press Release

Spangle, Washington Man Indicted by Grand Jury for Multi-Million Dollar Car Import Fraud Scheme

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Washington

Spokane, Washington – On February 21,2024, a federal grand jury for the Eastern District of Washington returned an indictment charging Christopher Lee Terry Sr., age 39, of Spangle, Washington, and his business, Allwest Financial LLC, with fourteen counts of fraud in connection with running a car import fraud scheme that defrauded multiple victims, including an auto finance company and a Canadian auto dealer, out of more than $5 Million between January 2019 and June 2020.  

The Indictment alleges that Terry, through his auto wholesaling business, Allwest Financial LLC d/b/a Allwest Auto Remarketing (“Allwest”), defrauded auto financier NextGear Capital Inc. (“NextGear”), and Canadian auto retailer Birchwood Automotive Group Partnership (“Birchwood”), among others, by falsely and fraudulently claiming ownership of hundreds of vehicles that had been imported from Canada and which Allwest was supposedly refurbishing for potential re-sale. 

The Indictment alleges that in order to qualify the imported vehicles as collateral for millions of dollars in advance loans from NextGear, Terry and his company used fraudulent documents purporting to show that the imported vehicles were owned, or were in the process of being purchased, by Allwest, when in fact they were not.  The Indictment alleges that NextGear relied on Terry’s false and fraudulent representations, believed that Allwest owned the vehicles, that the loans were secured by the vehicles, and that the loans would be paid back once the vehicles were re-sold.  However, as alleged in the Indictment, because Allwest did not in fact own the vehicles, any proceeds from any re-sale of the vehicles were owed to the true owner, such as Birchwood, leaving NextGear with outstanding, unsecured, and uncollectible loans to the tune of millions of dollars.  In addition, the Indictment alleges that it was part of Terry’s fraud scheme for Terry and Allwest to at times pocket both the fraudulently obtained NextGear financing and the resale proceeds of the vehicle - thereby profiting twice from a vehicle Allwest did not own.

 The Indictment alleges that when Terry’s fraud scheme was discovered NextGear, Birchwood, and others sustained losses of more than $5 million due to the scheme.

“Sophisticated business fraud schemes victimize both businesses and consumers and obstruct the ability of honest companies to transact business in an efficient and fair way,” said United States Attorney Waldref.  “Regardless of the nature of the fraud, or what type of business, industry, or consumer it impacts and victimizes, we will work closely with our law enforcement partners to hold fraudsters accountable when they prey on innocent members of the community in order to line their own pockets.”

The fraud charges carry maximum sentences of up to 30 years in federal prison.  This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Spokane Resident Agency.  Assistant United States Attorneys Tyler Tornabene and Dan Fruchter are prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States. 

An indictment is merely an allegation and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

United States v. Christopher Lee Terry Sr. and Allwest Financial LLC, Case No: 2-24-CR-27-TOR-2


Robert Curry

Public Affairs Specialist

Updated February 22, 2024

Financial Fraud