An Arizona grand jury indicted a used-car dealer for selling cars by posing as a private seller and tax evasion.

After receiving a tip, the Arizona Curbstoning Enforcement Task Force (ACE-TF) Unit investigated several cars for sale claiming to be from a private seller. Each car displayed a for sale sign with a phone number. 

Through a Craigslist database search, detectives discovered the phone number was associated with approximately 432 other used-car ads within the past year.  During an undercover operation, detectives discovered the cars were not individual sales but marketed by used-car dealer Desert Palms Wholesale.

William Grewell, the owner-operator of Desert Palms Wholesale, is accused of selling cars without paying the sales tax. For tax years 2014 through 2018, Grewell allegedly filed false tax returns understating his gross receipts and claiming he had no taxable sales.

According to investigators, Grewell had approximately $4.5 million in gross sales during this period and would have owed approximately $282,000 in taxes to the State of Arizona and Maricopa County.

ACE-TF is made up of Arizona Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General, and the Arizona Department of Revenue’s Criminal Investigations. The unit worked with the Arizona Attorney General’s Office on this case.

Alliance Auto Auctions raised nearly $48,000 for the Poiema Foundation to assist with the foundation’s mission of rescuing and helping with healing for survivors of human trafficking.

Poiema rescues sex trafficking victims, helps them with their healing and restoration journey, and educates the public to raise awareness to help prevent sexual abuse, sex trafficking, and other methods of sexual exploitation.

The auction raised $15,000 in the first quarter of 2018, and mid-year on June 20, Alliance held a charity auction at its Dallas location. That raised $11,000. Dealers donated items for the auction as well.

A federal jury convicted an Alabama used-car dealer on multiple counts of tampering with vehicle odometers and three counts of bank fraud.

Randy Eugene Greene, d/b/a RJ’s Auto Sales on South Memorial Parkway in Huntsville, was convicted of tampering with odometers between October 2014 and November 2016.  
The largest discrepancy in the changed odometer reading was approximately 218,678 miles.  The average discrepancy in the mileage on the odometers for the various vehicles was 122,046 miles. 

In the three counts related to bank fraud, Greene engaged in a scheme to defraud Redstone Federal Credit Union.  The fraud occurred when the credit union financed three of the vehicles on which the odometers had been changed. 

Greene was served with a notice of forfeiture related to the bank fraud counts, which includes but is not limited to a money judgment in the amount of $28,000.

During the trial, the government presented testimony from the 11 victims who purchased the vehicles from Greene and his business.  All said that they would not have bought the vehicles or would not have paid what they did had they known the true mileage on the vehicles. 

The government also presented evidence from wholesalers who testified about the mileage that was on the vehicles when they were originally sold to Greene. 

Tampering with an odometer carries a maximum 3-year prison sentence and a maximum $250,000 fine.

Police in California arrested a man and a woman in connection with robberies at a Nissan dealership.

The La Quinta Special Enforcement Team (SET) recently investigated several burglaries and a theft from Torre Nissan in La Quinta. 

On Feb. 15, officers arrested John Schiavone as a suspect in the case. A search of his residence turned up several items stolen from the dealership.
A second suspect, Brooke Williams, was arrested at the residence.

Schiavone and Williams were booked for burglary, theft, fraud and stolen vehicles.

A New Hampshire used-car dealer was found guilty of a felony charge of theft by unauthorized taking for keeping money from consignment sales.

A jury found Stephan Condodemetraky, owner of  Dusty Old Cars, deprived a consignor of nearly $6,000 in proceeds from the sale of a car.

Sentencing is scheduled for April 29. The conviction carries a maximum sentence of seven and a half to 15 years in prison and a $4,000 fine.

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