AutoGuide News Blog
The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
Mercedes-Benz USA CEO Ernst Lieb (center) was dismissed this week over allegations of major breaches of compliance, according to a report by German newspaper Handelsblatt.
Lieb is reported to have paid for an addition to his home, as well as golf club fees at the expense of parent company Daimler. ”Ernst was repeatedly warned, but he did it again,” said an unnamed Daimler executive. A spokesman for Daimler would not comment on the matter.
The Truth About Cars reports that earlier in the decade, another Mercedes executive was fired for similar improprities, and that even Lieb’s excellent standing within the company couldn’t save him from losing his job over the matter.
[Source: Fox Business]
A Michigan man, David Allan Proffitt, has been sent to jail in Texas after he was accused of embezzling tens of thousands of dollars from an Ann Arbor, MI Lexus dealership.
According to police investigating the case, Proffitt, who was General Manager of the dealership, wrote more than 100 checks out to people, claiming they were dealer customers who needed refunds. Proffitt forged the signatures on each of the checks he wrote and deposited them into personal bank accounts, most of the transactions occurred over an almost three-year period between April 2008 and February 2011.
In addition, some of the money Proffitt stole was apparently used to pay a dealership employee’s rent, in order to keep him working there. Last Thursday, authorities arrested and charged Proffitt in Plano, Texas. A court appearance has yet to be scheduled.
[Source: Ann Arbor.com]
You don’t mess with GM, as a car salesman and a trucking company owner found out recently. They’ve been charged by the FBI for allegedly selling more than 200 Hummers overseas with phony titles and collecting more than $500,000 in unearned incentives from General Motors.
Steve Romshek, a former salesman at the Huber dealership in Omaha (that’s the one that sold the Hummers), has been arrested, while Marilyn Maskill, owner of an Overland Park, Kan., trucking company, hasn’t been arrested yet. According to an Associated Press report, the crafty pair sold the Hummers in 2005 and 2006 to a small broker in Chillicothe, Mo. The Hummers were then resold overseas and exported to Nigeria, Germany, Canada, Japan, just to name a few countries. With the fraudulent titles, they were able to pocket more than $500,000 in unearned incentives from General Motors – and that’s money they shouldn’t have been eligible to collect. In total, the pair is facing 11 counts of wire fraud and one charge of conspiracy.
As for the Huber dealership, they cooperated with FBI investigators and settled things General Motors and regulators a few years back. They also had to pay a $100,000 fine to a state licensing board, but admitted no wrongdoing. It’s interesting to note that this fine was the largest ever handed down by the Nebraska Vehicle Industry Licensing Board.
It’s still unknown whether or not the couple who owned the Missouri car brokerage will be charged. They could be on the hook, as they bought more than 200 Hummers from Huber in 2005 and 2006.
We’ll keep you posted when we hear of any further developments. Until then, don’t try to mess with GM – they mean business and apparently have the FBI’s number on speed dial!
[Source: USA Today]
Renault is admitting that is wrongfully dismissed three executives accused of corporate espionage, saying it has found no evidence to support the allegations made.
Carlos Ghosn, Renault’s CEO, met with the three and promised compensation for their erroneous termination. Renault had accused the executives of holding illicit bank accounts in Switzerland and Lichtenstein, but their claim was contradicted by authorities in both countries. Renault is now investigation potential fraud related to another employee.
“At this stage we do not know whether we are dealing with just fraud or a deliberate attempt to destabilize Renault,” Paris Chief Prosecutor Jean-Claude Marin said. “If there was any espionage it was not carried out through the networks identified by Renault.”
[Source: Automotive News]
Ford’s European headquarters in Cologne, Germany has been raided by German officials as part of an investigation into a kickback scandal by the German prosecutors office.
While Ford itself is supposedly not the target of the investigation, employees at Ford have been implicated in the scandal, and Ford, as well as the German government are working to target these individuals.
Employees allegedly favored companies looking for contracts in exchange for “material advantages”.
[Source: Auto Observer]