Two former salesmen at Michigan’s Parkway Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram pleaded not guilty to defrauding Stellantis (who served as an FCA at the time of the crime) shortly after he was charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
Lawyers for the two accused vendors, Apollo Nimo and Farra Botris Bahu, said their clients had not made any mistakes. Nimo’s lawyer said Stellantis knew what the sellers were doing. Car news.
The men are accused after family members of Stellantis employees used discount codes for use in sales and rentals. In particular, Nimo was charged last year by federal prosecutors with defrauding Stellantis of $ 8.7 million between 2014 and 2021 by offering employee benefits.
Details: The seller paid $ 8.7 million to the FCA after offering benefits to all employees.
In May, the men were formally accused of colluding with each other and “other people known and unknown to the jury” to sell the codes to consumers and use them in transactions. Prosecutors say Nimo sold 250 vehicles a month in 2020, more than most FCA dealers sold in a month, and used the scheme until its arrest in 2021. And Bahu worked in his team.
Patrick Herford, Nimo’s lawyer, says his client stole employees’ discount numbers and did not sell them. He said Nimo used legal discount codes created by employees when Stellantis was accused of paying dealers to lie about sales numbers.
“It’s known that some automakers in the industry, including Stellantis, sell their discount numbers,” Hurford said. “Some of these employees even believe in this source of income. The FCA knew that. Stellantis knows it. Nobody stopped it, because it increases sales. “
Stellantis filed a federal antitrust lawsuit in 2019, alleging that he pressured dealers to provide fake sales numbers. As part of the deal, he was fined $ 40 million and forced to recreate five years of U.S. sales.
The investigation into Nimo and Bahoo began when Stellantis employees began complaining that they were using their personal discount codes without their consent. In 2019, the FCA provided investigators with a list of 268 employees who reported unauthorized use of discount numbers. Prosecutors have linked all of them to the Nimo trade.