WASHINGTON — A 32-year-old man was arrested and charged with bank fraud in connection with a scheme to defraud individuals and banks of more than $150,000 by falsely promising to sell them luxury cars, the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia announced last week.
Benjamin Grey was arrested by the Washington Field Office of the U.S. Secret Service and Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) with band fraud. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine.
Grey was arrested following an investigation by the U.S. Secret Service and the MPD. He pled not guilty last week in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Judge John M. Facciola ordered that Grey remain held without bond pending a court hearing on Aug. 31.
As alleged in court filings, Grey claimed that he ran a car dealership called “Planet Cars” and offered to sell luxury cars, such as BMWs. With Grey’s representations about the car purchase, victims obtained auto loans from banks. After they gave Grey the auto loan checks, however, he never provided the cars. In fact, according to the court filings, Grey never owned the cars in question.
The court filings allege that five separate times in 2009, including four times in October 2009 alone, Grey fraudulently obtained auto loan proceeds in this way. Each of the auto loans were between $29,000 and $35,000. The victimized banks included BB&T and Navy Federal Credit Union, according to the court filings.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jonathan Hooks and Christopher Kavanaugh. The investigation is ongoing.