Six Men Charged In A Conspiracy With Stealing Cars And Loan Proceeds By Falsely Claiming Identity Theft
Loss to area banks and auto dealers more than $1.2 Million
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – United States Attorney John E. Kuhn, Jr. today announced the indictment and arrests of six men all charged in a conspiracy that resulted in a loss of approximately $1.2 million to banks and car lenders. The twenty count indictment was unsealed on October 25, 2016 during a hearing before United States Magistrate Judge Dave Whalin. A jury trial is scheduled in Louisville before Senior Judge Charles R. Simpson III, on December 19, 2016 at 9:30 am.
Today, defendant Christopher Peplinski, 42, (formerly from Orion, Michigan), was arraigned before Magistrate Judge Colin H. Lindsay and remains on bond charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and money laundering. Defendants Jamesy Havens, 41, Ronald Lovell, 34, of Louisville, and Jasen Coon, 38, of Miami, were previously arraigned and remain in federal custody charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and money laundering. Defendants David Farnsworth, 50, and Danny Coslow Jr. of Louisville, face the same charges and remain on bond pending the December trial in Louisville.
According to the indictment, the defendants opened bank accounts in Louisville, Kentucky, Michigan, and Florida, under company names designed to appear as legitimate businesses and car dealerships, such as 24/7 Motors, FTD Motors, Auto Advantage Company, Gulf Coast Holdings, VMCD Corp., and VMD Direct Processing. Then, over a two-year period, beginning in June 2013, until June 2015, the defendants allegedly carried out several schemes to defraud banks and auto dealerships of more than $1.2 million.
These schemes included purchasing vehicles with no intention of repaying the loans by reporting the transactions were made by someone else who had stolen their identification; applying for and receiving loans from banks, then using fraudulent car purchase invoices from their “businesses” (previously listed) to give the impression that cars were being purchased - when instead - no car was purchased and the loan proceeds were deposited for their own personal use. Another alleged scheme involved the defendant’s obtaining multiple car loans for the same car to make it look as if the vehicle had been sold multiple times when in fact the defendants still possessed the car. Also, the defendants are charged with creating false documents to make it appear that bank liens on vehicles had been paid in full, when the liens had not been paid.
If convicted of the charges at trial, each defendant could be sentenced to no more than 20 years for conspiracy to commit mail fraud, no more than 10 years for each count of money laundering by engaging in monetary transactions over $10,000, and no more than 20 years per count of money laundering transactions designed to conceal the proceeds of fraud. In addition, defendant Havens is charged with a single count of identity theft which carries an additional sentence of no less than two years in prison. All defendants are subject to forfeiture of any property derived from the alleged offenses, could be required to pay fines, and could be ordered to serve a term of supervised release.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Joshua Judd. It is being investigated by the United States Postal Inspection Service, the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigations, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, United States Secret Service and Louisville Metro Police Department.
The indictment of a person by a Grand Jury is an accusation only and that person is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty