MIAMI — A former Porsche salesman has pled guilty to operating a $3 million fraud scheme in which he entered into bogus sales orders for the sale of exotic models to at least 30 U.S. customers. Shiraaz Sookralli, 45, was a longtime employee of Pompano Beach, Fla.’s Champion Porsche, billed as the nation’s largest Porsche dealer, when he perpetrated the fraud. He made national news for evading authorities from the time the lawsuit was filed in September 2018 to his arrest in April.
Sookralli’s case was assigned to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida, where he was charged with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud. He is scheduled for sentencing on Nov. 14 and could spend up to 20 years in federal prison.
Sookralli admitted to forming a shell corporation with a name bearing a close resemblance to both Champion Porsche and another corporate affiliate of the dealership. He then opened a bank account in the shell corporation’s name and entered into bogus sales orders for the unauthorized sales of nonexistent future exotic Porsche models, the majority of which were rare, highly sought-after Carrera 911 models.
When customers sent deposits in the form of wire transfers, bank checks, and cash, Sookralli deposited the funds in a bank account he set up for the shell corporation. To further his scheme, Sookralli provided most customers with signed false and fraudulent purchase orders, sham vehicle build sheets showing the specifications of the customers’ vehicle, and other falsified documents.
Another victim agreed to let Sookralli sell their Porsche “on consignment”; once he sold the car, he kept the money for himself.
“The defendant used the money for extravagant expenditures, including luxury vehicles, jewelry, nightclubs, and restaurants.”
All told, Sookralli stole approximately $3 million from customers and embezzled an as-yet undetermined amount of money from Champion Porsche, prosecuting attorneys said in a press release.
“As set forth in the court documents, the defendant used the money for extravagant expenditures, including luxury vehicles, jewelry, nightclubs, and restaurants,” the statement reads, in part. Prosecutors added that, “After Champion Porsche uncovered Sookralli’s fraud scheme, it contacted his victims and began its cooperation with the criminal investigation. All of Sookralli’s victims with valid claims were made whole by Champion.”
Originally posted on Auto Dealer Today