Albany, OR – 16 May 2017 – Used Car Dealer, Shannon Jones, will spend two and a half years in federal prison for defrauding customers and business associates of his Corvallis used car dealership out of more than $1.3 million.
He also was ordered to pay restitution to his victims and submit to three years of post-prison supervision. He is scheduled to report to the federal correction institution at Sheridan on July 5 to begin serving his sentence.
The sentence was handed down Tuesday afternoon by U.S. District Judge Ann Aiken in the federal courthouse in Eugene, where Jones pleaded guilty to a single felony count of wire fraud.
Aiken’s ruling upheld the terms of a plea deal worked out between Jones and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Oregon.
Jones could have faced up to 20 years in prison for his crimes, but prosecutors asked for a lighter sentence based on Jones’ lack of any previous criminal record and his cooperation with investigators.
Jones’ attorney, Walter Todd, asked for house arrest or work release in lieu of prison time, saying his client had shown remorse for his actions, had already repaid more than two dozen of his victims and wanted to maintain a relationship with his three young children.
The judge rejected that argument, however.
“I know you’re disappointed,” Aiken said to Jones after ordering him to serve 30 months behind bars. “But this is a serious offense.”
In their sentencing recommendation to the court, prosecutors outlined an elaborate scheme carried out by Jones over a span of nearly four years at his Corvallis used car dealership, Jones 5 Auto Sales.
Starting in early 2012, prosecutors said, Jones turned his business into a criminal enterprise, using a number of scams to generate illegal profits. Among other things, they said, Jones sold cars left with him on consignment (sometimes to more than one purchaser) and kept the proceeds. In other cases he would forge the owners’ signatures on title documents and use them as collateral to fraudulently obtain operating loans from commercial lenders. He also was accused of reneging on personal loans to a long list of friends and associates.
On Nov. 18, 2015, Jones’ financial house of cards came tumbling down when angry creditors descended on the dealership at 1475 N.W. Ninth St. to repossess most of Jones’ inventory. Right behind them came the Corvallis Police Department, which shut down the business and seized computers and financial records as evidence.
Source: Albany Democrat Herald