Convicts at Car Dealers, Part 4

If a car dealer's employee is willing to steal from the company, what makes you think they won't steal from you, too?

Question: how many Mercedes do you have to sell so the boss doesn't notice when you steal a million dollars? A lot.

In a new twist on skimming money from the till, the supervisor of temporary employees at Mercedes-Benz of Laguna Niguel, a southern California Mercedes-Benz dealership worked out a deal with temporary employees to split their pay with him --- in exchange for them not having to work at all! In just a couple of years he managed to pocket over a million dollars, and still collect a paycheck too.

According to a press release from the feds, David Delgado was the temp worker's supervisor for 7 years at the dealership and in charge of monitoring and approving the hours worked by all dealership temporary employees. One day back in 2004 one of them offered to give him half his paycheck if Delgado would leave the temporary employee on the payroll but not make him show up for work. It was a deal too good to resist apparently.

Over the next few years Delgado started making the offer to the temp workers, offering to approve phony time entries for temp workers and keep them on the payroll even though they weren't really working for the Mercedes dealership any longer. The more temp workers agreed, the more money Delgado pocketed. Then it occured to him. Why do I need to split it with temp workers at all? Why not just make it all up? So he did.

While he hired temporary employees from two agencies he also started creating completely fictitious temporary employees, turning in hundreds of hours of payroll time for people who either weren't there or didn't exist. It didn't take long to make some really big money. That is until the whole thing started to smell fishy.

Eventually the FBI came knocking and Delgado ended up copping a plea to two wire fraud charges in a deal with federal prosecutors that kept his jail time down to 18 months in the slammer and a court order to pay money back to the car dealership --- $1,053,970 of it.

You gotta wonder. Just how much money was that place rollin in the door? How much profit does it take to keep the boss from missing a million dollars or so? And just where was the boss anyway? Out to lunch? A very long lunch? Maybe a lunch out of the country? Cayman Islands, at the bank?

I guess there's just so much money floating around at car dealerships (especially Mercedes dealers?) that the employees just can't help themselves.

Like I said, if an employee will steal from the car dealer they work for, what makes you think they'll think twice about getting into your wallet or purse without you knowing it?
Like everything else, you have to be careful and watch out for the thievin’ on the retail end — that’s your end and it can cost you money!

If you’re the victim of car dealer fraud, call us right now,
1-888-331-6422 Toll Free. We go after car dealers (and manufacturers) every day. It’s what we do.

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Known nationwide as a leading Lemon Law attorney, Ronald L. Burdge has represented literally thousands of consumers in "lemon" lawsuits and actively co-counsels and coaches other Consumer Law attorneys. From 2005 through 2018, attorney Ronald L. Burdge has been named as the only Lemon Law Ohio Super Lawyer by Law and Politics magazine and Thomson Reuters Corp., Professional Division. Burdge restricts his practice to Lemon Law and Consumer Law cases. The Ohio Super Lawyer results are published annually in the January issue of Cincinnati Magazine. Ronald L. Burdge was named Consumer Law Trial Lawyer of the Year 2004 by the National Association of Consumer Advocates, the nation's largest organization of consumer law private and government attorneys. "Your impact on the auto industry has been magnified many times over because of the trail you blazed for others," stated NACA's Executive Director, Will Ogburn. Burdge has represented thousands of consumers in Ohio, Kentucky and elsewhere since 1978 and is a frequent lecturer to national, state and local Bar Associations and Judicial organizations. Burdge is admitted to Ohio's state and federal courts, Kentucky's state courts, and Indiana's federal courts. Other court admissions are on a "pro hac" temporary, case by cases basis.