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Two Defendants Sentenced In Fraudulent Automobile Loan Scheme

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government

Two Defendants Sentenced In Fraudulent Automobile Loan Scheme

U.S. Attorney’s Office, Middle District of Tennessee
March 31, 2009

NASHVILLE, TN—Ed Yarbrough, U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee and My Harrison, Special Agent in Charge of the Memphis Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, announce that James K Elliott, 33, of Erwin, North Carolina and Robert L. Manigo, 41, of Clarksville, Tennessee were sentenced on March 27, 2009, to serve twenty-seven months and twenty-four months of imprisonment, respectively, for financial institution fraud.

In the early part of 2003, Fort Campbell Federal Credit Union (FCFCU) initiated a “first time car buyer” loan program for automobile loans of $10,000 or less. Manigo, then a salesperson with a car dealership in Clarksville, Tennessee contacted Elliott, a former Army acquaintance. Manigo told Elliott about FCFCU’s new loan program. Manigo and Elliot devised a scheme to obtain vehicles with car loans from FCFCU using fraudulent information. Manigo told Elliot the dealership would pay Elliot $100.00 for each buyer that Elliot brought to the dealership who purchased a car.

Elliott recruited nine other individuals to purchase automobiles through Manigo and another salesperson. At Elliott’s direction, the nine individuals recruited by Elliott provided false social security numbers and false employment information to the FCFCU to obtain loans to finance the purchases of the automobiles. The nine individuals recruited by Elliott also were prosecuted for their participation in this scheme.

The total amount of the loans fraudulently obtained from the FCFCU as part of this scheme was approximately $83,972.76. All of the automobiles purchased in this scheme were repossessed by the FCFCU. The loss to the FCFCU after the resale of those automobiles was approximately $43,864.00.

Mr. Yarbrough stated, “The United States Attorney’s Office and our law enforcement partners take seriously allegations of loan fraud perpetrated against federally insured financial institutions. Loan fraud threatens the health of our financial institutions and our economy. Loan fraud schemes like the one in this case must not be tolerated.”

The investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The United States was represented by Assistant United States Attorney Byron M. Jones.

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