Billings car dealer gets prison for bank fraud

2013-07-18T12:30:00Z 2013-07-19T10:04:04Z Billings car dealer gets prison for bank fraudBy CLAIR JOHNSON The Billings Gazette

A federal judge this week sentenced a Billings auto dealer to 18 months in prison and ordered restitution of nearly a half-million dollars for defrauding a bank.

Senior U.S. District Judge Sam Haddon on Wednesday sentenced Daniel Young, 35, of Billings, to the high end of the guideline range for his guilty plea to bank fraud. He imposed $490,153 restitution.

Haddon allowed Young to report to prison when assigned to a facility.

Young, who owned and operated Auto Plaza Inc., 1617 First Ave. N., admitted he defrauded First Interstate Bank by failing to repay loans on vehicles he sold.

Auto Plaza operated with financing from First Interstate Bank and Dealer Services Corp., said Assistant U.S. Attorney Jessica Fehr. An investigation found that Young and others at his request would fail to repay the bank and financing company for money loaned to the dealership on vehicles that had been sold, she said.

Young instead used the sale proceeds to pay other bills and vendors, make payroll and pay off liens on unrelated sales, Fehr said. Young had two co-owners from 2007 to 2010, but Young was the primary operator and handled the daily financial transactions, she said.

Defense attorney Brian Kohn asked for a sentence of a year and a day, which would allow Young to earn time off his sentence for good behavior. Fehr recommended a 13-month sentence.



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