3:07 p.m. CDT June 13, 2014
Four people have been sentenced to prison time and ordered to pay restitution for stealing more than $500,000 from Nissan in phony Lemon Law settlement claims.
Wendell Young, 34, of Inglewood, Calif.; Adrian Franklin, 40, of Chandler, Ariz.; Francisco DeLaRosa, 42, of West Covina, Calif.; and Tracey Young, 46, of Los Angeles were sentenced by U.S. District Judge William Haynes in Nashville for their participation in the scheme to defraud Nissan, according to U.S. Attorney David Rivera.
All four defendants had pleaded guilty earlier this year in the case, which involved false claims filed through Kenneth Carter, an arbitration specialist at Nissan North America’s Franklin headquarters, who directed the scheme, the government said.
Tracey Young was sentenced to 12 months and one day in prison, to be followed by six months in a halfway house, and ordered to pay $191,250 in restitution to Nissan.
DeLaRosa was sentenced to five months in a halfway house, during which time he must serve two days a week in a local correctional facility, to be followed by five months of house arrest. He also was ordered to pay $31,500 in restitution.
Wendell Young was sentenced to 20 months in prison and ordered to pay $191,250 in restitution to Nissan.
Franklin was ordered to serve three years of supervised release, including 10 months in a halfway house, during which time he must spend weekends in a local correctional facility. He also was also ordered to pay $191,250 in restitution.
Carter and another defendant in the case, Bruce Young, will be sentenced in August.
“Between March 2007 and April 2008, Carter, along with Wendell Young, Adrian Franklin, Tracey Young, Francisco DeLaRosa, and others, engaged in a scheme to defraud Nissan by filing false Lemon Law claims on behalf of individuals who owned Nissan vehicles,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
“The defendants provided Carter with information obtained from Nissan owners, such as the owner’s name, address, and vehicle identification number. Carter then used the information to file false and fraudulent Lemon Law claims with Nissan requesting settlement checks.”
After Carter approved the false claims, “he would cause settlement checks to be issued,” and then Wendell Young, Tracey Young, Franklin and DeLaRosa would direct the vehicle owners “to deposit the checks into their bank accounts or to cash the checks and then ‘kick back’ a portion of the funds received from Nissan,” the government said.
Some of the money went to Carter, and the rest was divided among Wendell Young, Franklin, and Tracey Young. There was a total of 80 false claims totaling about $571,500, the government said.
Investigating the case were the Internal Revenue Service and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kathryn Ward Booth represented the government in the case.
Reach G. Chambers Williams III at 615-259-8076 and on Twitter @gchambers3.
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This article was not written by Michigan Lemon Law.
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