Conspiracy charges filed against 4 used-car lot owners

The consequences of a conviction on federal criminal charges in Oregon can be life-changing, and not for the better. Four men in another state are currently facing federal conspiracy charges. The Assistant United States Attorney prosecuting the case is prosecuted says each of the accused individuals could be imprisoned for as long as 20 years if they are convicted.

According to court documents, the four men -- ages 23, 26, 28 and 39 -- are each facing multiple federal charges. These include conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud, money laundering and transporting stolen property across state lines. It is alleged that the four men ran three interlocking scams involving their used-car businesses.

In the first scheme, they allegedly arranged for employees and associates to create shell companies and then used the Social Security Numbers, pay stubs and birth dates of those involved to create fraudulent documents. These were then used to procure loans and get financial institutions to underwrite vehicle purchases. A second fraud scheme purportedly involved the accused individuals reporting some of the vehicles as stolen or damaged. It is alleged that insurance claims were then filed, and pay-outs benefited the businesses of the accused men. Allegedly, some of the vehicles or parts that were reported stolen or damaged were later located at a warehouse housing a chop shop of one of the defendants.

The third scam is said to have involved specialty finance businesses who provided the used-car lots with short-term credit lines and loans for vehicles they claimed to have in inventory. Through a complicated range of allegedly fraudulent steps and false representations, the four supposedly committed theft from these companies. As would be the case in Oregon, the defense counsel of these four men will now focus on the details of the conspiracy charges and other criminal accusations. However, the prosecution must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, a standard that is set high intentionally in order to prevent the conviction of innocent people.

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