California residents plead guilty in Nissan defrauding scheme

NASHVILLE – Francisco DeLaRosa, 40, of West Covina, Calif., and Tracey Young, 45, of Los Angeles, pleaded guilty Friday before U.S. Chief District Judge William J. Haynes Jr. to conspiring to launder money derived from a scheme to defraud Nissan North America, according to David Rivera, U.S. attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee.
Feb 21, 2014

NASHVILLE – Francisco DeLaRosa, 40, of West Covina, Calif., and Tracey Young, 45, of Los Angeles, pleaded guilty Friday before U.S. Chief District Judge William J. Haynes Jr. to conspiring to launder money derived from a scheme to defraud Nissan North America, according to David Rivera, U.S. attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee. 

Young and DeLaRosa each admitted in their plea agreement from March 2007 through April 2008, they conspired to launder the proceeds that resulted from the scheme to defraud Nissan. 

Young and DeLaRosa admitted that they, and others, would approach individuals who owned Nissan vehicles to get information, such as the owner’s name, address and vehicle identification number. They then passed this information to Kenneth Carter a co-defendant and Nissan employee, who used the information to file false and fraudulent claims at Nissan requesting settlement checks. 

 After the checks were issued by Nissan to settle the fictitious claims, Young and DeLaRosa, and others, directed the Nissan owners to deposit the checks into their bank accounts or to cash the checks and return funds from the settlement checks to Young and DeLaRosa, who then transferred the funds either directly or indirectly to Kenneth Carter, who was involved in the scheme. Young admitted she often kept a portion of the proceeds. 

 According to the indictment, about 80 false claims were filed as part of the scheme, totaling about $571,500. 

DeLaRosa agreed to pay restitution of at least $31,500 for his portion of the scheme, and Young agreed to pay restitution in the amount of at least $191,250 for her portion of the scheme.

Sentencing is scheduled for June 13.  Each defendant faces up to 20 years in prison and $500,000 fine.

On Nov. 18, another co-defendant in the case, Adrian Franklin, 40, of Chandler, Ariz., pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering. Franklin is scheduled to be sentenced March 28.

 The indictment that also named three other defendants whose cases are still pending: Kenneth Carter, 44, of Corona, Calif.; Bruce Young, 49, of Compton, Calif.; and Wendell Young, 34, of Inglewood, Calif. The indictment charged conspiracy, mail fraud, and conspiracy to commit money laundering, and alleged that Nissan lost about $571,500 as a result of the scheme. 

An indictment is an accusation, and all persons are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law Rivera said.

The IRS Criminal Investigation and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation investigated the case. Assistant U.S. attorney Kathryn Ward Booth served as prosecutor. 

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