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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Tennessee

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Arizona Man Pleads Guilty To Conspiracy To Launder Money In Scheme To Defraud Nissan

Adrian Franklin, 40, of Chandler, Arizona, pleaded guilty on November 18, 2013, to participating in a scheme to defraud Nissan North America, announced David Rivera, United States Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee.  Franklin pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, which carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of $500,000.

According to the plea agreement, Franklin admitted to participating in a conspiracy to launder money derived from a scheme to defraud Nissan by recruiting others to obtain the names of Nissan owners and the corresponding Vehicle Identification Numbers (“VINs”), to submit false claims for repair to Nissan.  When Nissan issued a check to the vehicle owner for the bogus repair claim, the owner would deposit the check into his or her bank account and then pay a portion of the funds to Franklin and a portion to others involved in the scheme.

Franklin was charged in an indictment that also named five other defendants: Kenneth Carter, 44, of Corona, CA; Francisco DeLaRosa, 40, of West Covina, CA; Bruce Young, 49, of Compton, CA; Tracey Young, 45, of Los Angeles, CA; and Wendell Young, 34, of Inglewood, CA.  The indictment charged conspiracy, mail fraud, and conspiracy to commit money laundering, and alleged that Nissan lost approximately $571,500 as a result of the scheme. 

An indictment is merely an accusation and is not evidence of guilt.  All remaining defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.  The trial of the remaining defendants is set for February 25, 2013, in U.S. District Court, before Chief Judge William Haynes.

The case was investigated by the IRSB Criminal Investigation and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.  Assistant United States Attorney Kathryn B. Ward represents the government. 

Updated March 19, 2015