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Four auto dealer managers arrested for inflating prices
ORANGE, Calif. (9/29/08)--Four former managers at Orange, Calif.-based Douglas Nissan were arrested Wednesday on suspicion of defrauding customers and financial institutions--including two California credit unions--in a scheme to inflate used-car prices, according to prosecutors. NuVision FCU, an $847.4 million asset, Huntington Beach-based credit union, and Wescom CU, a $3.692 billion asset Pasadena-based credit union, were among the financial institutions defrauded in the scheme, prosecutors said (The Orange County Register Sept. 25). The scheme consisted of manipulating used vehicles’ Kelley Blue Book values--a commonly used reference for determining used automobiles’ selling prices--through bogus reports that the vehicles had upgrades such as navigation systems, DVD players, premium wheels and leather interiors, prosecutors said. Once they found out how much a customer could afford in monthly payments for a vehicle, the four defendants arranged loans that roughly matched the payment amount, prosecutors said. When Douglas Nissan reported fake vehicle upgrades that inflated the loan amount and car price, the lender and the customer were defrauded, prosecutors said. The four former managers arrested Wednesday are: Frank Ignacio Urbano, a former part-owner and general manager of the dealership; and former sales managers Luz Belem Corral of Costa Mesa, Kevin Allen Derosier of Anaheim, and Marwan Abdellatif of Lakewood.
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