Former Owner of Chrysler Dealerships in Lodi and Sonora Charged with Wire Fraud for Defrauding Investors

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FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the United States Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.

FRESNO, Calif. — On April 21, 2022, a federal grand jury returned an eight-count indictment against Vincent Elliot Porter, 73, of Oakdale, charging him with wire fraud, United States Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.

According to court documents, between 2013 and 2017, Porter owned and operated two Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram dealerships: Sonora Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram, and Lodi Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram. He used his ownership of those businesses to defraud investors of approximately $8 million. He promised investors fixed rates of return and falsely represented that the investments were risk free and backed by collateral. He misrepresented the financial health of the dealerships and the intended use of investor funds. Porter spent much of the investors’ funds for personal use including expensive travel (including to golf resorts such as Pebble Beach, high end hotels such as the Ritz Carlton, and numerous trips to Las Vegas, the Napa Valley, and other luxury locations), the purchase of an expensive vehicle, and other personal expenses.

This case is the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey A. Spivak is prosecuting the case.

If convicted, Porter faces a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on each count. Any sentence, however, would be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables. The charges are only allegations; the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

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