Tuesday, June 5, 2012
Aaron Matthew Payne, 39, of O’Fallon, the owner of three Columbia auto dealerships, pleaded guilty in federal court in Jefferson City Monday to defrauding Callaway Bank of $1.2 million.
Based in Fulton, Callaway Bank sustained the largest loss in the fraud scheme investigated by the FBI that totaled $1.7 million.
Last year the Callaway Bank lost about $2.7 million when it was defrauded by cattle fraud Ponzi schemes in which 28 other victims were defrauded of nearly $8 million.
In the recent auto dealership fraud, Payne obtained in excess of $1 million in lines of credit for these businesses through his agreements with several financial institutions.
By pleading guilty, Payne admitted that, beginning in March 2007, he engaged in a scheme to defraud several financial institutions. The government contends that Payne’s scheme, which involved financing for 118 vehicles, resulted in a total loss of $1,751,407.
U.S. attorneys contended The Callaway Bank sustained more than $1.2 million in losses related to 78 vehicles.
Other financial institutions that sustained losses as a result of Payne’s scheme included Missouri Credit Union, Dealer Services Corporation, Manheim Automotive Financial Services, Blue Ridge Bank & Trust, Boulevard Bank, Ford Motor Credit Company and Jefferson Bank of Missouri.