Charleston, VA (AP)

A West Virginia man has been sentenced to six years in prison for a truck-guaranteed fraud scheme.

James Pinson, 46, of Wayne County, was convicted in December by a federal jury of fraud, mail fraud, aggravated identity theft and conspiracy to launder money. He was sentenced to six years in prison.

Also on Thursday, 69-year-old Frank Russo from North Carolina was convicted. In July 2020, he pleaded guilty to fraud and was sentenced to two years.

Both men will have to pay Toyota up to $ 4.3 million, the Justice Department said.

Pinson owned Big Blue Motor Sales, a used car dealership in Kentucky. Evidence during the trial showed he bought Toyota trucks at wholesale prices, obtained copies of Kentucky and West Virginia driver’s licenses, fraudulently named trucks after them and persuaded Toyota to buy trucks at 150% of their retail value, the Justice Department said. in a news release.

Pinson forged signatures on 350 checks and deposited them in his bank account, the release said. He bought more trucks in bulk and paid cash bribes to Rus and Stanley Clark, the Justice Department said. Clark was previously sentenced to 15 months.

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