Former Salesman of Porsche Dealership Charged in $2.2 Million Fraud Scheme Involving Non-Existent Rare Porsche Models
A former salesman for Copans Motorsports d/b/a Champion Porsche was charged by criminal complaint for his participation in a scheme in which he entered into bogus sales orders for the sale of exotic Porsche models to over 30 customers throughout the United States.
Ariana Fajardo Orshan, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, George L. Piro, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office, Michael J. De Palma, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), and Gregory Tony, Sheriff, Broward Sheriff’s Office (BSO), made the announcement.
A criminal complaint charged Shiraaz Sookralli, 44, of Plantation, with mail fraud, wire fraud, conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, and money laundering. Sookralli made his initial appearance earlier today, and is scheduled to appear before U.S. Magistrate Judge Patrick M. Hunt on Friday, April 5, at 10:00 a.m. for his pretrial detention hearing.
According to the criminal complaint, in 2017, Sookralli opened a shell corporation with a name bearing a close resemblance to both Champion Porsche and another corporate affiliate of the dealership. After forming the shell corporation, Sookralli opened a bank account in the shell corporation’s name. Sookralli then entered into bogus sales orders with customers for the unauthorized sales of non-existent future exotic Porsche models. The majority of the vehicles were rare, highly sought-after, Carrera 911 models. The defendant required deposits from his victims in the form of, wire transfers, bank checks, and cash that he later deposited into his shell company’s bank account. The buyers relied on Sookralli’s longtime employment at Champion Porsche, title as “Vice President of Marketing,” representations that he or she would receive a yet-to-be-built Porsche vehicle, and the seemingly legitimate bank account for wiring deposits to Sookralli. Champion Porsche did not authorize Sookralli to conduct these transactions.
The complaint also alleges that Sookralli received over $2,200,000 from approximately 30 customers who never received the Porsche vehicles, as agreed. As set forth in the complaint, the defendant used the money for extravagant expenditures including luxury vehicles, jewelry, nightclubs, and restaurants. Sookralli also funneled amounts in excess of $10,000 at a time from his shell company account to bank accounts he controlled.
After Champion Porsche uncovered Sookralli’s fraud scheme, it contacted his victims and began its cooperation with the criminal investigation.
U.S. Attorney Fajardo Orshan commended the investigative efforts of the FBI, IRS-CI, and BSO in this matter. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Roger Cruz.
A criminal complaint is merely an allegation and every defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.