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

www.dmv.ca.gov
www.youtube.com/CaliforniaDMV

January 29, 2010


Sacramento—Two 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.”

Background

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.

*          *          *           *           *           *           *           *         *         *          *           *           *

Don’t Stand In Line, Go Online! Doing business with the DMV has never been easier. The DMV offers an array of services to customers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week through its Web site (www.dmv.ca.gov), including online appointments for written and drive tests; vehicle registration and driver license renewals, selection of personalized license plates, changes of address and payment of fees via secure debit transactions. Customers can also effect transactions by calling DMV customer service at (800) 777-0133.

DMV is a department under the Business, Transportation and Housing Agency, which is under the direction of Secretary Dale E. Bonner. The DMV licenses drivers; maintains driving records; registers and tracks official ownership of vehicles and vessels; investigates auto and identity-related fraud; and licenses car dealers, driving schools, and traffic violator schools.  

###

Media Inquiries Only
dmvpublicaffairs@dmv.ca.gov
PHONE (916) 657-6437


Customer Assistance
For all customer-related questions
Please Call (800) 777-0133