Several credit unions and banks were allegedly defrauded out at least $200,000 through a purported scam in Michigan that involved inflated auto loans and forged titles.
According to the Combined Auto Theft Unit in Grand Rapids, Mich., three area men were arrested last week for allegedly erasing lienholder information on titles in order to take out multiples loans on the same vehicle.
Local media outlets reported the suspects sought loans for vehicles that were no more than $2,500. However, loans were obtained for up to six times the value of the autos. In some cases, the loans were secured for nearly $14,000, according to police officials.
The alleged scam began in mid-December, ran for three months and supposedly bilked nine credit unions and banks out of at least $200,000, according to the Combined Auto Theft Unit. The names of the financial institutions were not released.
Among the vehicles obtained by the three suspects were a 2007 Chevy pickup, a 2005 Cadillac and a 2000 Chevy pickup.
Police officials said some of the extra money obtained by the suspects was used to support a gambling habit.
The suspects are set to be charged with conducting criminal enterprises.