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Former Nashville Motor Cars owner pleads guilty to fraud conspiracy

Staff Reports • May 31, 2017 at 2:58 PM

The former owner of Murfreesboro-based Nashville Motor Cars Premier car dealership pleaded guilty Wednesday in U.S. District Court for his role in a conspiracy to defraud his dealership’s customers and business partners, according to Jack Smith, acting U.S. attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee.

Randl Arthur Roth, 48, of Murfreesboro, was charged April 3 with conspiracy to commit bank and wire fraud.

According to the charging document and plea agreement, beginning in May 2014, Roth and two co-conspirators, who were employed at Nashville Motor Cars, devised a scheme to defraud their customers, the banks that financed their customers’ car purchases and individuals and companies that financed their inventory.

To further their scheme, Roth and his co-conspirators told numerous customers and their banks that Nashville Motor Cars had clean titles to the cars they sold when, in fact, Roth knew that there were existing liens on those cars. These misrepresentations led the customers to buy the cars and the banks to finance them.

On numerous occasions during the same period, Roth and his co-conspirators told private inventory financiers they had certain cars to gain additional credit, when they had already sold the cars in question.

The fraudulent representations led Roth’s business partners to believe cars on the lot secured the credit they extended to Nashville Motor Cars when those cars were already sold.

Roth also submitted fraudulent duplicate car title applications to the Rutherford County clerk’s office and provided a copy of the applications or duplicate titles to the dealership’s inventory financiers.

Roth admitted in the plea agreement the financial loss he caused was more than $550,000.

Roth faces up to 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine. Chief U.S. District Judge Waverly D. Crenshaw Jr. will sentence Roth on Sept. 18. The court will impose his sentence after consideration of the U.S. sentencing guidelines and applicable federal statutes.

The FBI investigated this case with assistance from Murfreesboro police and the Tennessee Highway Patrol criminal investigation division. Assistant U.S. attorney Henry C. Leventis is prosecuting the case. 

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