Six Sentenced in Auto Loan Fraud Ring

Charleston, SC – May 3, 2012 – Officials with the U.S. Attorney’s Office have sentenced six South Carolinians to prison for their roles in an auto loan fraud scheme that caused a reported $800K in losses.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office reports that the defendants were convicted for their roles in a scheme to fraudulently obtain auto loans by providing false documentation to over 16 different banks and credit unions. Over the course of the scheme, the defendants obtained over $800,000 from the banks and credit unions. Prosecutors report that some of the proceeds from one loan were often used to pay off others.

From 2003 through 2005, Hargrove and Toadvine owned and operated the “Car Connection”. They confessed to misleading lenders that were making the car loans to borrowers by presenting false loan applications. Hargrove and Toadvine falsified borrowers income or minimized their debt, so they would qualify for loans. Hargrove and Toadvine also falsified mileage on the the used cars in order to overstated the value of the collateral.

Hargrove and Toadvine were responsible in losses of approximately $421,014 to various financial institutions.

Sentenced for conspiracy to commit bank fraud were William Brian Toadvine, age 34 and Donald Toadvine, age 58, both of Mt. Pleasant; Floyd Hargrove, age 41, from Bluffton; Daniel Kosmer Jr., of Greenville; Joyce Pozniko, 58, of Hanahan and Elizabeth Donnelly, 47, of Beaufort, were all sentenced for providing false statements on a loan application.

A seventh person, Colin Slaven, 38, has pled guilty to conspiracy to commit bank fraud and still awaits sentencing.

The defendants were sentenced by United States District Judge Richard M. Gergel, who sentenced William and Donald Toadvine to twenty-four months incarceration each, to be followed by five years of supervised release. Floyd Hargrove was sentenced to twelve months incarceration, which will be followed by five years supervised release. Kosmer, Pozniko and Donnelly were each sentenced to three years of probation or supervised release.

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