Prosecutors: Men stole more than $5 million from suburban auto loan company
Two executives of an Evanston subprime auto lending company and an accountant are charged with misappropriating $5.3 million from the company, according to a federal indictment.
James Collins, 50, chief executive officer of Honor Finance LLC, and Robert DiMeo, 49, the company's chief operating officer, are charged with 10 counts each of mail fraud. Each count carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
Collins and DiMeo schemed with accountant Michael Walsh, 62, "to divert money owed to Honor Finance to an outside entity the trio created and controlled," federal prosecutors said.
The indictment alleges Collins, of Evanston, DiMeo, of Park Ridge and Walsh, of Evanston, used the Skokie-based LHS Solutions Ltd. to purchase GPS devices, which they resold to Honor Finance "at a significant markup."
Honor Finance required GPS devices be installed in certain vehicles purchased with loans it finances so those vehicles could be located and repossessed if the borrowers defaulted, according to the indictment.
Authorities say the men kept the money for themselves and their family members.
They say the defendants also used some of the misappropriated funds for a down payment on a lake house in Dowagiac, Michigan.