A former dealer of Oklahoma Kia and Mitsubishi has pleaded guilty to two counts of tampering in an auto lender fraud case, resulting in a third charge being dropped as part of the plea deal.
Bobby Mayes, former owner of Big Red Dealerships, faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each of the two tampering charges he pleaded guilty to.
The plea agreement also requires him to:
- Pay a combined $1.2 million in restitution to lenders, including more than $480,000 to Santander Consumer USA, $156,000 to Flagship Credit Acceptance and about $110,000 to Encore Automotive Acceptance
- Accept a monetary judgment of $1 million in profit, subject to asset forfeiture
- Face potential sentencing of 108 to 135 months in prison, not including mandatory minimum sentencing requirements
By entering a guilty plea, the government has agreed to drop a third count of tampering and to not bring any other obstruction of justice or witness-tampering charges against Mayes related to his actions in November 2021 through October 2022 that include:
- Providing the funds to help co-defendent Courtney Wells flee to Mexico while they both awaited sentencing in the fraud case
- Sending the court an anonymous email in October 2022 containing fabricated claims of a meeting and evidence, to secure a new trial in the ongoing proceedings
Mayes, Wells and co-defendant Charles Gooch were first found guilty on Nov. 19, 2021, of a range of charges, including conspiracy to commit wire fraud, multiple counts of wire fraud, forgery, and aggravated identity theft. The conviction pertains to the actions of Mayes’ group (including Big Red Sports/Imports, Big Red Kia, Norman Yamaha, Norman Mitsubishi, and Mayes Kia) between January 2014 and March 2019. The charges involved the group using fraudulent tactics to persuade lenders to give loans to customers with poor or no credit whom the company had targeted.
The jury found Mayes and Gooch guilty on all 25 counts. Wells was convicted on 19 of 25 charges but was acquitted on six of the 12 wire fraud counts she faced.
Mayes won't face further prosecution for any other acts of wire, bank fraud or identity theft from 2012 to November 2021, as agreed by the Western District of Oklahoma U.S. Attorney's Office.