Home Cleveland Press Releases 2009 Two Indicted on Wire Fraud Charges
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Two Indicted on Wire Fraud Charges

U.S. Attorney’s Office December 03, 2009
  • Northern District of Ohio (216) 622-3600

Steven M. Dettelbach, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, today announced the filing of an indictment charging Thomas C. Wilson, age 48, of Tarpon Springs, Florida, and James L. Howard, age 59, of La Porte, Indiana, with wire fraud. The indictment alleges that Wilson, while employed at Stykemain Chevrolet Pontiac in Paulding, Ohio, sold vehicles to Howard, a used car salesman in La Porte, Indiana. It is alleged that from 2003 to 2007, Wilson sold Howard 680 Stykemain Chevrolet Pontiac vehicles, for which the dealer’s inventory cost was $8.6 million. Howard paid for those vehicles by writing checks payable to Stykemain Chevrolet for $5 million and checks to Wilson for $1.8 million. It is further alleged that Howard deposited over $1 million in checks he made payable to Wilson, into Wilson’s personal bank account at the La Porte, Indiana, National City Bank branch. Wilson is alleged to have kept most of the payments he received from Howard.

If convicted, the defendants’ sentences will be determined by the Court after review of factors unique to each case, including the defendants’ prior criminal records, if any, the defendants’ roles in the offense and the characteristics of the violation. In all cases, the sentence will not exceed the statutory maximum and in most cases it will be less than the maximum.

The investigating agency in this case is the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The case is being handled by Assistant United States Attorney Thomas A. Karol, who may be reached at the above telephone number.

An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

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