Five Indicted In Indirect LoanScheme

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DENVER - (10/19/05) -- Executives at two local cardealerships and a former employee at CU Member Lending were chargedin a grand indictment Monday with obtaining more than $400,000 fromtwo credit unions by forging customer' credit bureau reports,raising credit scores, deleting poor credit lines and addingpositive credit lines. The executives at Bullwinkle's Auto Inc. andHollywood Auto Sales Inc., allegedly bribed Carl Markgraf, for whoworked for the indirect auto lender to send all but one of thefraudulent loan packets to New Horizons Community CU, with theother one going to Bellco FCU. The indictment, a copy of which wasobtained by The Credit Union Journal, charges the executives newthese customers would not qualify for financing through CUML sothey agreed to pay Markgraf a fee for each loan he got approved bythe credit unions. Also named in the indictment were: Pete Eliott,Jr., operator of Bullwinkle; Clair Martin, the dealer's financedirector; Abdul "Shawn" Masad, owner of Hollywood Auto; and StevenStroud manager of the dealer's downtown Denver location. The schemeis believed to have cost as much as $100,000 in losses to thecredit unions.

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