For release on December 12, 2013       CONTACT:   Georg Behrens   Deputy District Attorney   Major Fraud Unit/Economic Crimes Group   (408) 792-2964       MANAGER OF USED CAR DEALERSHIP GUILTY OF FRAUD       A Sunnyvale luxury used car dealer faces prison time after pleading no contest today for defrauding customers out of more than $1 million worth of money and cars.   Wisal Ameen (aka Andy Paul), 50, of Campbell, is scheduled to be sentenced by the Hon. Hector Ramon on charges of grand theft, conspiracy, passing insufficient funds checks, and money laundering on Feb. 26, 2014.   Ameen’s co-conspirator Trixie Garcia, 42, also of Campbell, pleaded no contest to charges of conspiracy, passing insufficient funds checks, and money laundering. Ameen remains in custody in lieu of $400,000 bail. Garcia is out of custody.   Garcia was the owner of the business Sunnyvale Motorcars, a used-car dealership located at 681 E. El Camino Real. Ameen, who ran the day-to-day operations of the business, committed fraud against both sellers and buyers of used cars. Ameen would take delivery of a car, promising to pay the seller after he sold it. But Ameen would keep the proceeds of the sale. The seller would be left without a car, without the proceeds, and perhaps even with an ongoing debt to a lien holder. To the new purchaser, Ameen would falsely promise to pay off the prior owner and any lien holder, as well as to facilitate the transfer of title. Not having been paid, however, the prior owner or lien holder would be unwilling to relinquish title. Not being able to obtain a title, the purchaser would not be able to register the car with the Department of Motor Vehicles. The purchaser would be left without his or her money and without legal entitlement to use the car that he or she had just bought.   When pressed for payments owed, Ameen would make false excuses and promises, or write bad checks and make partial payments. On December 1, 2012, he abruptly shut down Sunnyvale Motors without notice to customers or creditors and got rid of the last used cars still on the lot. Preceding the shutdown, Garcia removed tens of thousands of dollars from the company’s bank account.   The case was investigated by Detectives Chris Ketchum and Mark Jorgenson of the Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety, and by Investigator Sara Scott of the Department of Motor Vehicles.
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