A former Charlotte, NC-area auto dealer and 10 of his employees were sentenced for taking part in years of fraudulent financing that cheated lenders and inflated vehicle payments, causing many borrowers to default on their car loans.
James F. Keating, 42, owned and operated the Five Star, South Boulevard and Monroe auto malls. He's serving three years in federal prison after pleading guilty to fraud charges.
Robert Stamper, 36, former general manager of South Boulevard Auto Mall Inc., got a two-year prison sentence. Nine other employees received sentences ranging from a year in prison to probation.
An indictment says up to $15 million in bogus loan applications were created between 1998-2004 in an atmosphere of fraud where “Keating pressured his finance managers and sales people to do whatever was necessary to sell cars, even if the customers did not meet the financial qualifications to purchase a vehicle.”
Stamper allegedly used a computer to create false pay stubs, Social Security benefits letters, tax returns and other documents used to support inflated claims about buyers' financial situations.
Stamper also sold such fake documents to co-workers preparing phony loan applications, prosecutors told the Associated Press.