Resale Scheme: Auto Center In Virginia Plead Guilty In Selling Government Vehicles

Jan 29, 2017 10:30 PM EST | Hem Cervantes

On Thursday, the U.S. Justice Department has released an announcement of the manager of an auto center in Virginia who pleaded guilty in taking part of selling cars including unused Suburbans and vehicle parts that belong to the U.S. State Department. A long time legal auto seller from the North part of Virginia, James Ratcliffe, is guilty in working over five years with a state department insider in stealing not more than 15 official government vehicles.

The stolen vehicles included a Suburban model favored by the State Secret Service and a low mileage Hummer H2 2004. Specifically, two of the stolen government transportation equipment is unused 2013 model of Suburbans in black and white that has a value of $96,400. According to the charging papers from a prosecutor, Ratcliffe sold everything including truckloads of wheels and tires for a profit.

Ratcliffe's involvement in making money out of these stolen Suburbans, hummer and car parts all started in early 2011 which run over four to five years. The overall value of the numerous properties in the fraudulent scheme is a total of $512,420.

The vehicles were first kept in a residence where the 67-yers-old Ratcliffe and an unnamed schemer who is now the owner of the business. The Springfield shop that does a maintenance work for the department is also where Ratcliffe used to be a manager and owner is also where the vehicles were being sold.

James Ratcliffe from Fairfax Station is guilty of felony conspiracy to defraud the government. It is punishable by a statutory that has a maximum of five years in prison. Though a plea agreement said federal guidelines will fall on a sentence from one year and six months to two years and a fine up to $40,000. As for the plea agreement, it calls for Ratcliffe to pay the sum of $416,020 in restitution and a fair total in the forfeiture money judgment.


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