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Nissan Dealership Stands Tall Amidst Federal Indictments Of Former Employees | DrivingSales News

Nissan Dealership Stands Tall Amidst Federal Indictments Of Former Employees

March 17, 2015 0 Comments

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Four former employees of a Nissan dealership in Alabama have pled guilty to charges of loan fraud conspiracy. We reported back in October 2014 that Scott Burton, 36, of Odenville, Michael J. Wilkinson, 56, of Moody, Dwight A. Perry, 44, of Birmingham, Terry W. Henderson, Jr., 39, of Pleasant Grove, and Roland W. Riley, 28, of Birmingham were indicted by a federal grand jury in September on charges of aggravated identity theft, conspiracy, bank and wire fraud. The 11-count indictment charging the men with falsifying sales info in order to defraud customers as well as Nissan North America.

On the subject of this case, the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama, Joyce White Vance felt that the men failed in their trusted role. Vance said in a statement, “As managers and salesmen in a car dealership, these defendants falsified customer information used to make loans, defrauding the banks who trusted the dealership to present truthful information during the vehicle financing process, and harming customers by fraudulently inflating the value of the vehicles they purchased.”

That was in October, fast forward to today in March of 2015 and four more former employees of this Nissan store have pled guilty. In addition to those mentioned earlier, the Trussville Tribune noted that Dwight A. Perry, 44, of Birmingham, and Abdul Islam Mughal, 48, of Trussville, Gerald R. Shepard, 56, of Pinson, and Jeffrey R. Green, 33, of Porterdale, Ga., pleaded guilty either earlier this year or later last year. That means all eight men who were charged with fraud have now plead guilty. Speaking about the outcome of the case, Vance added, “Predatory practices in providing auto loans to people with credit problems or insufficient income is akin to the fraud in mortgage lending. We are engaged in rooting out this fraudulent activity that threatens consumer safety.”

The Trussville Tribune also reported some of the activities engaged in by the eight former Nissan dealership employees. According to the Tribune, these men reportedly were involved in:

  • Creating or altering documents to submit to financial institutions to show inflated income for prospective buyers
  • Directing finance managers and salesmen to submit fraudulent documents to financial institutions to misrepresent proof of a customer’s residency
  • Listing accessories not actually included on a vehicle so a financial institution would increase its loan amount. The defendants and others had a financial incentive to increase a loan amount in order to increase commissions paid to certain employees.
  • Presenting straw buyers, who could qualify for a loan, to financial institutions when the actual buyer couldn’t qualify

Now that we know some employees acted poorly at a franchise dealership, what’s the rest of the story?

To find out, DrivingSales News took at look at the drive-by digital reputation of Sierra Nissan in Birmingham, AL. A Google search shows they currently have a 4.8 star rating on Google Places out of 276 reviews. They also appear to have an active social media presence. There are articles about the federal indictments that come up on the search; however, little can be done about those.

The point is that their online presence doesn’t appear to be marred by the actions of a handful of deliquent former employees. The actions taken by the former employees occurred between 2010 and 2013, and it appears Sierra Nissan has practiced successful reputation management as they move into 2015.

About the Author:

The DrivingSales News team is dedicated to breaking the relevant and the tough stories affecting car dealers. Have questions for DrivingSales News? Reach the team at news@drivingsales.com.

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