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Former Business Manager Pleads Guilty to Wire Fraud, Conspiracy

March 8, 2005

NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- The former business manager of a Branford, Conn., car dealership has pleaded guilty to federal wire fraud and conspiracy charges.

Bruce Vetre, 40, of Guilford, Conn., also agreed to testify against his former Shoreline Mitsubishi co-workers, reported the New Haven Register.

Vetre and other employees submitted false customer credit information to Mitsubishi Motors Credit of America Inc., Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Biran said.

Those involved allegedly inflated customers’ income information in order to secure automobile financing for customers who otherwise wouldn't have been approved for a loan.

Several Shoreline Mitsubishi employees allegedly failed to disclose to customers the existence of large balloon payments at the end of their financing contracts, according to the Register. Because of this, some customers defaulted on their loans and lost their vehicles.

In some cases, sticker prices on vehicles were removed and customers didn't realize they had been charged thousands more than the sticker price, according to Biran.

Vetre is the fourth person to enter a guilty plea in the case. He agreed to make restitution in the amount of $222,000 to Mitsubishi Motors and $1,300 to a customer who was charged for an extended service contract that wasn't disclosed to her.

Several others are scheduled to go on trial April 13.

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