Queens District Attorney Richard Brown keeps motoring on obtaining one Enterprise Corruption indictment after another. Whether the top prosecutor in Queens is chasing down identity thieves, gamblers or other alleged fraudsters, when he finally catches them he brings out the “big guns” found in the New York Penal Law. According to a press release from earlier today, DA Brown has done it again. Eighteen individuals, arrested for and charged with Enterprise Corruption, Grand Larceny, Criminal Possession of Stolen Property, Falsifying Business Records, Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument and Conspiracy, are all alleged to be part of an auto loan fraud scheme. It appears that obtaining indictments against these individuals was not enough to satisfy DA Brown’s voracious appetite for justice as he also obtained indictments for three separate corporations.
According to prosecutors, eighteen individuals and three corporations have been indicted for their alleged roles in two massive automobile loan fraud schemes that resulted in nearly two million dollars in losses to 18 financial institutions on 47 loans. A fairly basic, yet lucrative, scheme it is alleged that the defendants were involved in obtaining loans to purchase high end automobiles – BMWs, Mercedes, Porsches – with the assistance of “straw borrowers.” These borrowers had good credit that enable them to allegedly purchase vehicles that were later resold or rented on the black market and used in criminal activities.
The scheme is alleged to have been perpetrated as follows: (1) A “straw borrower” would obtain bank loan through the use of their good credit. (2) The “straw borrower” would share his/her personal information so that a “straw purchaser” could buy a vehicle with that loan. (3) After a few payment periods, the “straw buyer” or whoever was in charge of payment, would default on the loan. (4) Because of the agreement between the automobile dealerships and the banks, after a few payments were made, the “straw buyer” or the bank would be liable for the loan and not the car dealership. As a result, the car dealership, which may have been in cahoots, would get the money free and clear. (5) During some of the purchases, it is alleged that cars were not actually bought even though the car dealerships received the loan money from the victim banks.
It is alleged that recruiters for this scheme approached “straw borrowers” by promising them kickbacks when the vehicles were either sold or the money for the fraudulent loan obtained for the vehicle was dispensed. Further, it is claimed by prosecutors that “straw borrowers” were told payments would be made and the borrower’s credit would increase as a result. Despite these alleged promises, the loans went into default.
As a result of this investigation, prosecutors believe that not only were individual fraudsters involved in the nearly two million dollar scheme, but that loan companies and car dealerships aided in the fraud. The Criminal Charges
Briefly, the charges against the defendants and the companies are as follows:
Enterprise Corruption: A “B” felony requiring mandatory prison for a first time offender up to twenty five years. Likely tied to the allegations that the crew had a structure and common purpose to make money for the criminal enterprise.
Grand Larceny in the Second and Third Degrees & Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Second and Third Degrees: “C” and “D” felonies punishable by up to fifteen and seven years in prison respectively. These charges appear to be associated with the individual loan thefts from the bank as well as the possession of the stolen funds. Because there were numerous victims, the crimes of Grand Larceny were not aggregated into one single offense of Grand Larceny in the First Degree for a theft in excess of one million dollars. Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the Second Degree: A “D” felony punishable by up to seven years in prison. This crime likely relates to fraudulently completed loan paperwork and other documents.
Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree: An “E” felony punishable by up to four years in state prison. This crime is associated with the falsely drafting, writing and completing information on loan applications and other documents that were used in the course of the bank’s business.
Conspiracy in the Fifth Degree: An “A” misdemeanor punishable by up to one year. While this crime is not “heavy,” it is used to tie together other acts that may not be admissible and to give prosecutors jurisdiction where they may not have it otherwise.
DICKENSON ENTERPRISE (12 defendants)
Duane Box, Danien Brown, Ernest Butler, Andre Dickenson, Alain Galette, Natasha Green, Maurice Hayes, Marvin Jackson, Christopher Lewis, Adrian Sylvester, Carl Tappin, Christopher Vincent
NDAULA ENTERPRISE (9 defendants)
Quate Alexander, Yusekbek Makhamadaliev, Alexander Ndaula, Quiet Money Realty LLC (a.k.a. EZ Approval Auto Sales and Leasing LLC), Rear Guard Enterprises, Ronda Richardson, Luis Santiago, Alain Saint Phard, Silver Arrow Auto Sales,
Queens County Supreme Court Criminal Term
Whether prosecutors’ allegations hold water and what defenses the accused will pursue in the next few weeks will certainly be seen. Make no mistake. Assistant District Attorneys and their adversaries representing the defendants have significant work ahead of them.
Crotty Saland PC is a New York criminal defense firm founded by two former Manhattan prosecutors. The New York criminal lawyers at Crotty Saland PC represent the accused throughout the New York City region.
To learn more about the crimes listed above including Enterprise Corruption, Grand Larceny, Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument and Falsifying Business Records, please follow the highlighted links.
Additional information on these crimes ranging from analysis of legal decisions, criminal statutes and newsworthy cases, is also available on the NewYorkCriminalLawyerBlog.Com. Within the next week, Crotty Saland PC’s new website and blog, NewYorkTheftAndLarcenyLawyers.com and NewYorkTheftAndLarcenyLawyersBlog.Com will be “live” with significant information on New York’s theft and larceny laws.