Former Chisholm Resident Pleads Guilty To Defrauding Customers At Classic Car Restoration Company
MINNEAPOLIS—Earlier today in federal court, a 26-year-old Michigan man, formerly of Chisholm, pleaded guilty to defrauding customers of Memory Lane Classics, a company that restored and rebuilt classic cars, out of more than $1 million. Edwin Scott Verdung pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud and one count of transaction money laundering. Verdung, who was charged on May 14, 2013, entered his plea before United States District Judge Patrick J. Schiltz.
In his plea agreement, Verdung admitted that from April 2007 through May 2010, he took money from individuals who were in the market for classic automobiles or who brought their own vehicles into the shop to be restored or rebuilt. Despite accepting funds, Verdung failed to provide the vehicles or the restoration services promised. In some instances, he represented falsely that he had made progress in rebuilding or restoring a customer’s vehicle, when, in fact, he had done nothing along those lines. Verdung also admitted requiring some customers to make “progress” payments, providing those customers with fraudulent photographs as evidence of the progress made in restoring the vehicle.
For his crimes, Verdung faces a potential maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison for wire fraud count and 10 years in federal prison for money laundering. Judge Schiltz will determine his sentence at a future hearing, yet to be scheduled. This case is the result of an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigations, Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, and the Chisholm Police Department. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicole A. Engisch.