Three Car Dealership Employees Arrested in Fraud Scheme
McALLEN, Texas - A federal grand jury has returned an indictment against three former car dealership employees for participating in a long-running scheme to defraud companies, including financial institutions, in connection with car loans in the Rio Grande Valley area, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick.
Law enforcement arrested Ronnie Joe Gomez, 44, of Pharr, David Salinas, 44, of McAllen, and George Villanueva 50, of San Antonio, today. They are expected to make their initial appearances before U.S. Magistrate Judge Peter Ormsby this afternoon at 1:00 p.m.
The indictment, returned June 18, 2019, was unsealed today upon their arrests.
The three are each charged with wire fraud. According to the indictment, the defendants devised a scheme to defraud financial institutions by submitting falsified proof of their customers’ income to purchase motor vehicles.
If convicted, each faces up to 20 years in federal prison and a possible $250,000 fine.
The FBI conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Frances E. Blake and David A. Lindenmuth are prosecuting the case.
A indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence.
A defendant is presumed innocent unless convicted through due process of law.