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Eleven plead guilty in auto loan fraud ring
CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. (4/25/08)--Eleven people pleaded guilty to fraudulently obtaining almost $84,000 in car loans from Fort Campbell FCU’s first-time car buyer program. Attorneys with the U.S. Justice Department, Middle Tennessee District, announced the guilty pleas Tuesday (TheLeafChronicle.com April 23). The program at the $253 million asset, Clarksville, Tenn.-based credit union is designed to finance cars for soldiers and their families (NashvilleCityPaper.com April 23). Robert L. Manigo, Clarksville, and James K. Elliott, Linden, N.C., each pleaded guilty to one count of financial institution fraud in federal court. The other nine defendants each pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit financial institution fraud. Manigo, a former employee of Mathews Nissan Inc,, Clarksville, paid $100 to Elliott for each customer he brought to the dealership for the first-time buyers program to finance loans up to $10,000, according to court records. To be eligible for the program through the credit union, participants had to qualify for membership. The credit union’s field of membership includes military personnel and their families, along with select employee groups. Employing fake identification and Social Security numbers, the defendants obtained membership to the credit union. They also are accused of making false statements on loan applications and reporting incorrect amounts of down payments to the auto dealership. Sentencing will take place in about 90 days, prosecutors said. The credit union’s management was not available for comment at press time.


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