10 Charlotte auto sales employees indicted
Ten former employees of Harrelson car dealerships in Charlotte have been indicted for conspiracy to commit fraud. They allegedly fabricated income statements and falsified down payments to put customers in new cars they couldn't afford. Soon the customers would default on their loans. U.S. Attorney Gretchen Shappert says the scam stuck lenders with more than a million dollars in losses from 1999 to 2005. An attorney for Harrelson Automotive Group - Pete Anderson - says the car sales company has cracked down on such practices. "Mr. Harrelson and all of his dealerships cooperated extensively from the time of the search two or three years ago," says Anderson. "They've implemented an improved compliance program to address the problems and concerns that came to light at that time. They've conducted and authorized an internal investigation." According to the federal indictment, the philosophy at Harrelson Auto Dealers was to never let a customer leave the store without purchasing a vehicle. It also names forty-three year old Harrelson finance manager Carla Lowry as a "go-to" person in the fraud because of her ability to get loans for customers who didn't qualify.