The owner of a Fremont auto dealership that closed in 2016 was indicted on 16 charges of fraud and money laundering in federal court last week, according to filed court documents.
Siemer Auto Center was owned and operated by Jason M. Siemer for nine years before the company dissolved in December 2016, according to the indictment. Prosecutors allege that, in that time, Siemer defrauded four different lending companies, who lost more than $3 million in the schemes.
Under the indictment, Siemer faces 13 wire fraud charges, two charges of making false statements on loan applications and one charge of money laundering.
Attempts to reach Siemer for comment on the charges were unsuccessful.
The dealership financed its operations through “floor plan lending,” acquiring loans from companies including Eide Wholesale LLC, Automotive Capital Services, Inc., Westlake Flooring Company, LLC, and the United Republic Bank in Omaha. That funding was to purchase used vehicles at auctions. Siemer Auto Center sold those vehicles to pay off the loans.
But, according to prosecutors, Siemer allegedly used the loan money to purchase vehicles for personal use, including a $38,050 Corvette. Some of the money was also used to pay off debts to other lenders without consent from the victim lenders.
Siemer also allegedly instructed employees at Siemer Auto Center to send false information to lenders about where their money was going. To secure credit, Siemer Auto Center told lenders that loans would be used to purchase specific vehicles at auction, but that money was not used for those purchases.
Prosecutors also say that Siemer told multiple lenders that their lines of credit were being used to purchase the same vehicle, fraudulently acquiring multiple loans from different companies despite only pledging to make one purchase.
Siemer also allegedly intentionally failed to disclose his line of credit with Eide while seeking subsequent lines of credit with other lenders, acquiring new loans under false pretenses. Siemer fraudulently obtained nearly $10 million in lines of credit, the indictment alleges.
According to Dodge County District Court records, Siemer has also faced civil suits from several of the same lending agencies, including United Republic Bank and Automotive Capital Services.
Each of the wire fraud charges carries a maximum sentence of 20 years. The false statements charge carries a maximum sentence of 30 years. And the money laundering charge carries a maximum sentence of 10 years.