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Press Release

Community Chevrolet GM Admits Ripping Off Dealership

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Pennsylvania

ERIE, Pa. - A resident of Edinboro, Pennsylvania pleaded guilty in federal court to a charge of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

Douglas A. Grooms, 44, pleaded guilty to one count before United States District Judge David S. Cercone.

In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that from June 2008 to September 2013, while employed as the general manager of Community Chevrolet in Meadville, Pennsylvania, Grooms embezzled money from the dealership by writing dealership checks to a fictitious marketing company which he set up solely for the purpose of receiving the checks, resulting in a loss of $485,800 to Community Chevrolet.

Judge Cercone scheduled sentencing for July 11, 2016 at 12:45 p.m. The law provides for a total sentence of 20 years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Pending sentencing, the court continued Grooms on bond.

Assistant United States Attorney Christian A. Trabold is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The United States Postal Inspection Service conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Grooms.

Updated February 29, 2016

Financial Fraud