SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Springfield used car dealer Chris King has pleaded guilty in federal court to wire fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud and identity theft.
King, who runs Queen City Motors, entered the plea on Tuesday. He was accused of using information collected from potential customers to apply for auto loans in their names and keeping the proceeds from those loans for his own use without the customers’ knowledge.
A source with the U.S. Attorney’s office, Missouri Western District, said King was about to be indicted by a federal grand jury when he appeared before a judge on Monday and entered the guilty pleas.
Information filed in the case by the United States attorney states that King conspired to commit wire fraud by obtaining personal information from potential vehicle buyers, used that information to acquire loan proceeds from a lender dealing in subprime loans to individuals with poor credit.
He then kept that money for his own use. The customers did not approve the applications for the loans, nor did they complete the purchases for vehicles, the information alleges. The total amount of several such loans was more than $700,000, the document states.
King, who was released on his own recognizance pending sentencing, agreed to the specifics in the three counts.
The maximum penalty for the fraud counts is up to 20 years in prison for each, a fine of $250,000 for each, three years of supervised release and restitution. The ID theft count carries a maximum sentence of two years in prison and $250,000 in fines, plus supervised release and restitution.