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Former Pa. Dealer Imprisoned for Wire Fraud

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April 26, 2018—The former president of an Erie, Pa., auto dealership has been sentenced to four months in federal prison, followed by six months of house arrest, on conspiracy to commit wire fraud, according to the Meadville (Pa.) Tribune.

Adam J. Weaver, 41, the former president of Rick Weaver Buick GMC Inc., was dealt the sentence Monday in U.S. District Court, due to Weaver’s role in defrauding banks and other auto loan firms out of more than $140,000. Weaver pleaded guilty to the conspiracy to commit wire fraud charge last October. Along with four months in federal prison plus six months house arrest, Weaver was sentenced to serve three years of probation, plus pay a $400,000 fine and $143,794.24 in restitution to various lenders.

Weaver and acquaintances Adam Coover and Douglas Grooms admitted to defrauding auto loan firms from 2015-16 by using “straw purchasers”—associates who are given money to pay for vehicles and promptly turn them over to the real buyers following transactions—to buy vehicles from Rick Weaver Buick GMC. The vehicles would then remain in Coover’s possession.

According to the government, Grooms, Coover and Weaver falsified loan applications to make the straw purchasers appear more creditworthy and by not revealing that the straw purchasers were buying multiple vehicles at the same time. The value of many of the vehicles was inflated to increase the money received by Grooms, Coover and Weaver.

Grooms was subsequently sentenced to 11 months in federal prison; no sentencing date has been set for Coover.

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