AMARILLO, Texas (Press Release) — The following is a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Texas. Two Reagor Dykes Auto Group employees pleaded guilty Friday for their role in the auto group’s floor plan fraud scheme, following an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Dallas Field Office, announced U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Erin Nealy Cox.
Pepper Laray Rickman, 47, and Sherri Lynn Wood, 53, plead guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud before Magistrate Jude Lee Ann Reno in Amarillo Friday morning.
Rickman and Wood are two of seven employees who have confirmed their role in the $50 million Reagor Dykes fraud. Admitted coconspirators include Reagor Dykes Chief Financial Officer Shane Andrew Smith and employees Sheila Miller, Lindsay Williams, Diana Urias, and Paige Johnston.
In plea papers, Rickman, accounting controller at Reagor Dykes Plainview LP (a Toyota store in Plainview, Texas), and Wood, office manager at the Reagor Dykes Auto Company LP (a Ford store in Plainview), admitted the auto group participated in a fraudulent floor plan fraud scheme.
In a practice accounting staff dubbed “dummy flooring,” “fake flooring,” or “re-flooring,” employees dug through records for vehicle identification numbers (VIN) of cars Reagor Dykes had already sold, then submitted new loan applications to Ford Motor Credit Company using the old VINs – falsely indicating that the company was seeking a loan in order to repurchase the vehicle for resale, Rickman and Wood said in plea papers. After acquiring the new floor plan funding, instead of re-buying the car, Reagor Dykes used the ensuing loan to cover other expenses.
The company’s accounting staff submitted the false information via interstate wire communication, the defendants admitted.
Rickman and Wood each face up to five years in federal prison and may be required to pay at least $27 million in restitution.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation and Internal Revenue Services – Criminal Investigation Division conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Joshua Frausto, Jeffrey Haag, and Sean Taylor are prosecuting the case.
(This is a press release from NDTX)