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California Briefing / ORANGE

Four charged in bank fraud plot

September 26, 2008|Stuart Pfeifer

The owner of an Orange County Nissan dealership and three employees have been arrested and charged with engaging in a conspiracy to steal customers' identities and defraud banks into approving loans for overpriced cars, authorities said Thursday.

Employees of Douglas Nissan in Orange were accused of selling used cars at inflated prices to primarily Spanish-speaking customers and defrauding banks into believing the cars were worth more than they were.

In some cases, dealership employees informed banks that cars had features that they did not, a scheme that led banks to approve loans they otherwise might have rejected. The conspiracy led to banks issuing $911,500 in loans that were based on fraudulent records, according to the district attorney's office.

In addition, some of the employees were accused of stealing customers' identities to help get loans approved for other customers. Prosecutors charged the four defendants with 77 felonies.

Arrested were: Frank Ignacio Urbano, a part owner of the dealership, and desk managers Luz Belem Corral, Kevin Allen DeRosier and Marwan Abdellatif. Each defendant was held in lieu of $100,000 bail.

-- Stuart Pfeifer

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