A trial is scheduled this month for a man accused of bilking money from several auto dealerships by sending them false invoices.
Scott G. Sanders faces seven counts of mail fraud. The trial is on the docket of the U.S. District Court in Dallas, TX, however the case involves dealerships throughout the country.
Each of the seven counts represents dealerships that received and paid invoices submitted by Sanders' fake firm, DSL (Dealer Service Links) during 2003 and 2004, says Postal Inspector Lisa McBee.
“Unfortunately I know of at least 75 dealerships that fell for his scheme,” she tells Ward's Dealer Business.
The typical amount of the bogus bills was $149. Some suspicious dealership staffers who called the invoice's phone number discovered it was not in service.
The case serves as a reminder that dealerships should review all invoices to make sure they're legitimate. That includes taking the following precautions:
- Check all paperwork closely, watching out especially for invoices and checks from unusual places.
- Scrutinize any solicitations that attempt to collect on products or services outside the scope of normal business.
- Confirm orders with the firm and whomever supposedly authorized the purchase.
- Avoid payment until you know the goods or services were ordered and received.