On November 19, a federal jury convicted the three Big Red Dealerships co-owners of numerous fraud charges over the past five years.
A federal jury made up of their peers found Norman residents Bobby Mayes, 49, Courtney Wells, 39, and Charles Gooch, 63, guilty of several counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, issuing fake securities and illegally signing checks, according to a Nov. 22 press release.
The jury found Mayes and Gooch guilty of 12 counts of wire fraud “based on false information sent to lenders for 12 specific clients”, while Wells was convicted of six of those counts, according to the press release. Each count carries up to 20 years in federal prison.
The defendants were also convicted of six counts of issuing false securities and six counts of illegally signing checks in connection with Norman Pawn & Gun checks forged by Big Red employees. Each issue of counterfeit securities is punishable by 10 years in prison; illegal signing of chequing accounts carries “a mandatory jail term of two years consecutive to any other jail term.”
Big Red dealers were based in Norman and included Big Red Sports / Imports, Big Red Kia, Norman Yamaha, Norman Mitsubishi and Mayes Kia.
The accused’s indictment charged the accused with conspiring “to conspire to commit wire fraud in which they sought to obtain millions of dollars in loan proceeds” from January 2014 to March 2019, the press release said.
“The indictment further alleges that the defendants made false statements and omissions to lenders about the type, source and amount of borrowers’ down payments or vehicle trades, and bribed at least one loan officer “, according to the press release.
The three defendants are also accused of making installments based on items pledged to Norman Pawn & Gun, a store that was never opened and without employees. The store was owned by Gooch and in a building owned by Mayes, the statement said.
“After the loan proceeds were received from the lenders, Big Red Dealership employees generated checks to clients, forged client signatures on the back, deposited the checks into Big Red Dealership accounts, and fully refunded Norman Pawn & Gun for the so-called installments, ”the states of release.
The defendants will be sentenced in approximately 90 days.