Man Sentenced for Stealing CU Auto Loans
An Atlanta man was sentenced to two years in prison for setting up a fake business to steal car loans that cost more than $167,000 in losses for three Virginia credit unions.
U.S. District Judge Arenda L. Wright Allen also ordered Sheldon Franklin last month to pay $167,529 in restitution and serve five years of supervised release following his prison sentence.
For nearly two years, the 31-year-old Franklin fraudulently obtained car loans from the $81 billion Navy Federal Credit Union in Vienna, the $2.3 billion Langley Federal Credit Union in Newport News, and the $365 million NSWC Federal Credit Union in Dahlgren.
To carry out his scheme, Franklin opened a business bank account at the $1.5 billion Bayport Credit Union in Newport News. In the account application, he listed himself as the sole owner of a car dealership and provided the credit union with a false document from the IRS that purportedly assigned his employer identification number, according to federal prosecutors.
Franklin recruited about a dozen people to apply for loans at the credit unions. He told them that they were taking part in a business transaction that involved buying cars at auction, according to court documents.
Even though the recruits used their own names, Franklin provided them with fraudulent documents for their addresses, employment and paystubs. He also provided the recruits with bogus buyers’ orders that listed information about each car’s make, model, vehicle identification number and sales price. The buyers’ orders also listed Franklin’s dealership as the seller of the cars, but his business was not authorized to do so.
The loan checks were made payable to the dealership and the recruits.
After Franklin cashed the checks or deposited them in his credit union account, he provided kickbacks to the recruits.
Federal prosecutors said Franklin executed this scheme about a dozen times.