Former Owner, GM of Carmean Dodge Arrested Early Today
California Department of Motor Vehicles
Media Relations Office
2415 First Avenue, MS F-122
Sacramento, CA 95818
Contact: DMV Public Affairs
January 29, 2010
SacramentoTwo former officers of the defunct Carmean Dodge in Shingle Springs and El Dorado Hills Dodge were arrested early this morning by investigators from the California Department of Motor Vehicles and the El Dorado County District Attorney’s Office, the department announced today.
Former owner Larry Carmean, 61, was arrested shortly after 7:35 a.m. today in Orangevale and, former general manager John Catalano, 38, was taken into custody in Folsom. Each was arrested on multiple counts of grand theft and embezzlement resulting in losses of up to $1.3 million to several dozen customers of the dealership and various financial institutions.
“Nearly all dealers play by the rules, but crimes against California customers simply will not be tolerated,” said DMV Director George Valverde. “Protecting California consumers is a top priority of the department, and a crime such is this is one that we take very, very seriously.”
Today’s arrests conclude an 18-month investigation involving the El Dorado District Attorney’s Office, the DMV, and the Department of Insurance that began in early August 2008, when DMV fielded its first complaint on Carmean and El Dorado Hills Dodge.
During the months of May 2008 through July 2008, Carmean, the sole proprietor of the dealership (dba Carmean Dodge) is alleged to have acquired and sold numerous vehicles, engaging in theft and embezzlement prior to the abandonment of his business location. After Carmean abandoned his dealership, DMV placed him out of business on July 25, 2008 and subsequently launched an investigation into the dealer’s unlawful business practices following numerous customer complaints. DMV Investigators sought assistance from the El Dorado District Attorney’s Office and the California Department of Insurance.
The investigation revealed Carmean Dodge allegedly defrauded Chrysler Financial for $1.6 million in new car inventory, $750,000 in used car inventory, and $132,000 in used car inventory to AFC Financial. Also identified were 92 transactions occurring between May and July 2008 with possible violations, including failure to transfer title and registration; failure to return down payment; failure to pay for warranties, extended service contracts and gap insurance policies.
The defendants are currently being held without bail in El Dorado County Jail.
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