Car title scam sends ex
INDIANAPOLIS An ex con will be headed back to prison for a car title scam that allowed hundreds of people to avoid paying for cars, while also allowing car thieves to obtain clear titles for stolen cars.
Joseph Woodruff, 59, of Indianapolis, pleaded guilty to two federal felony charges on Thursday, admitting that he scammed banks and other car owners with his company, Mechanic Liens Plus.
As Woodruff left federal court on Thursday, a companion worked to shield him from a news camera and Woodruff then ducked into the nearby Indianapolis Star building in an attempt to avoid being photographed.
Moments earlier in court, Woodruff claimed he was remorseful and wanted forgiveness from all of the victims who lostlost cheap Nuggets authentic jerseys
their cars through his fraud, which ran from 28 until his arrest in 2012.
None of the victims was in the courtroom.
In court documents and testimony, investigators said Woodruff Mechanic Liens Plus company would promise customers they could legally avoid paying for cars, including some cars that had just been purchased from car dealers. Some customers avoided paying even the first payment on the cars by paying Woodruff firm a $1,0 fee.
Prosecutors submitted documents that detailed how Mechanic Liens Plus would doctor repair paperwork to make it seem as though cars had been worked on by a mechanic. The paperwork would then claim that the sizeable mechanic bills had not been paid and therefore a lien had been placed on the car.
The banks that financed the cars, or in some cases the car other rightful owners, would then lose their interest in the vehicles with brand new titles being issued. That allowed Mechanic Liens Plus and its customers to then claim legal ownership of the vehicles without any future payments being made.
The Indiana Mechanic Lien statute is designed to allow auto repair firms to seize cars when someone fails to pay for repairs on the car. It requires formal notices to be sent to the lawful owner of the car and also requires a period of timetime cheap chinese Nuggets jerseys
to pass to allow the car owner to pay up to avoid having the car seized.
Mechanic Liens Plus would doctor paperwork to make the repair bills seem so high that many banks and finance companies simply cut the process short by forfeiting their ownership rights to the car, even though prosecutors said no work was actually performed on the cars.
"I plead guilty," Woodruff said in federal court on Thursday.
He claimed "great remorse" and claimed his daughter, who is also set to plead guilty in the racket, had "no idea" thatthat cheap Nuggets jerseys china
he was operating a fraud ring.
"As a parent, this is my most sorrowful regret," he said while sobbing and crying, occasionally pausing his presentation before the judge. Attorney Zach Myers countered that Secret Service agents had recordings of Woodruff daughter, Nisha Woodruff, telling customers she was familiar with how the laws were being manipulated to steal cars out from under victims.
Myers said she walked into the scam with her eyes open.
Myers also told the judge, "The loser was all of us."
He said some of the liens that were invalidatedinvalidated the Nuggets jersey
in the scam were intended to force people to pay state taxes or child support.
"This was about greed," Myers said, adding that taxpayers picked up the slack when people avoided paying child support or taxes by using the fraudulent lien company.
Defense attorney Kenneth Riggins asked the judge for a light sentence, saying Woodruff felt he wasn really causing much harm. Riggins said many of the big banks that financed the cars simply wrote off the losses.
Riggins said Woodruff lost a $60,0 salary when his prior longtime job was downsized. Riggins claimed that Woodruff originally started Mechanic Liens Plus as an entrepreneur with legitimate intentions.
He then realized business would sometimes taper off, so he looked for ways to increase his revenue and "started doing things he shouldn said Riggins.
"He regressed into a life of crime," said Riggins. District CourtCourt Nuggets new jerseys 2014
Judge William Lawrence said it was hardly a victimless crime.
"These are poor people who lost their vehicles," he said in pronouncing his sentence.
The judge said he considered letters received by victims in the scheme, including one woman who lost her car and no longer had a way to attend crucial doctor appointments.