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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, February 13, 2015

Former Nissan Employee Sentenced In Scheme To Defraud Nissan

Kenneth Carter, 45, of Corona, Calif., was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge William J. Haynes, Jr., to serve 60 months in prison for his role in a scheme to defraud Nissan North America by filing false Lemon Law claims on behalf of individuals who owned Nissan vehicles, announced David Rivera, U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee.  Carter was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $565,000 to Nissan North America. 

On April 3, 2014, Kenneth Carter, along with co-defendants, Francisco DeLaRosa, 42, of West Covina, Calif., Adrian Franklin, 40, of Chandler, Arizona, Bruce Young, 49, of Compton, Calif., Tracey Young, 46, of Los Angeles, Calif., and Wendell Young, 34, of Inglewood, Calif., were indicted and charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud, mail fraud, and conspiracy to commit money laundering, for their roles in a scheme to defraud Nissan North America. 

The scheme originated from Kenneth Carter, a former employee of Nissan North America who was employed at Nissan’s Franklin, Tennessee headquarters from March 2007 through April 2008 as an “Arbitration Specialist”.  Carter’s duties as  an Arbitration Specialist included negotiating settlements with attorneys who brought claims on behalf of Nissan owners alleging violations of  “Lemon Laws” or the “Federal Warranty Act.” 

Between March 2007 and April 2008, Carter, along with Wendell Young, Adrian Franklin, Tracey Young, Francisco DeLaRosa, and others, provided information obtained from Nissan owners, such as the owner’s name, address, and vehicle identification number, which Carter used to file false and fraudulent Lemon Law claims with Nissan and requested settlement checks.  Once Carter processed the false claims he caused settlement checks to be issued.  Defendants Wendell Young, Adrian Franklin, Tracey Young, and Francisco DeLaRosa then directed the Nissan owners to deposit the checks into their bank accounts or to cash the checks and then “kick-back” a portion of the funds received from Nissan. A portion of the funds were then paid to Carter, and the remaining funds were kept by Wendell Young, Adrian Franklin, and Tracey Young.

Between March 2007 and April 2008 Carter caused more than 80 false claims to be paid by Nissan, totaling approximately $571,500.

Five other co-defendants were previously sentenced in the case:

  • Francisco DeLaRosa was sentenced on June 13, 2014, to five months in a half-way house to be followed by five months of house arrest and ordered to pay $191,250.00 in restitution to Nissan North America.
  • Adrian Franklin was sentenced on June 6, 2014, to 10 months in a half-way house and ordered to pay $191,250.00 in restitution to Nissan North America. 
  • Bruce Young was sentenced on August 15, 2014, to 15 months in prison and ordered to pay $78,000.00 in restitution to Nissan North America.
  • Tracey Young was sentenced on June 13, 2014, to 12 months and one day in prison, to be followed by six months in a half-way house and ordered to pay $191,250.00 in restitution to Nissan North America.
  • Wendell Young was sentenced on May 30, 2014, to 20 months in prison and ordered to pay $191,250.00 in restitution to Nissan.

The case was investigated by the IRS-Criminal Investigation and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.  Assistant United States Attorneys Kathryn Ward Booth and Sandra G. Moses represented the government. 

Updated March 19, 2015