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Ex-president of Charlotte car dealership receives 5 years’ probation in ID theft case

The former president of a Charlotte-based RK Motors, Joseph Carroll, is set to be sentenced next month on federal mail fraud and identity theft charges in Cincinnati, according to court documents. RK Motors sponsored a classic car auction at the Charlotte Convention Center in 2013.
The former president of a Charlotte-based RK Motors, Joseph Carroll, is set to be sentenced next month on federal mail fraud and identity theft charges in Cincinnati, according to court documents. RK Motors sponsored a classic car auction at the Charlotte Convention Center in 2013. jsimmons@charlotteobserver.com

The former president of a Charlotte-based classic car dealership was sentenced last week to five years’ probation on federal mail fraud and identity theft charges, according to court documents filed in federal court in Cincinnati.

For more than 22 years, Joseph M. Carroll used an Ohio man’s Social Security number to take out more than 20 loans and lines of credit, prosecutors have said in court documents. The government had recommended a 41-month prison sentence, while Carroll’s attorney had asked for five years of supervised release.

Carroll had served as president of RK Motors until departing in May, according to Rob Kauffman, the company’s owner and chairman and also a co-owner of Michael Waltrip Racing, the NASCAR race team.

Carroll, 50, moved to Charlotte from Ohio around 2010 when his company, Best of Show Automotive, merged with RK Motors, according to Kauffman. The charges against Carroll had no connection to RK Motors.

Carroll was indicted in May 2013 and reached a plea agreement in February 2014.

From 1986 to at least 2009, Carroll used another person’s Social Security number to take out loans from numerous financial institutions, according to the government’s sentencing memorandum. The scheme allowed him to “minimize the consequences from any defaults or collection actions,” the document states.

In court documents, Carroll’s attorney said the use of the other person’s Social Security number began years ago when a car salesman inserted a different Social Security number into Carroll’s car loan application, unbeknownst to Carroll. Later, Carroll “made a mistake and continued to apply for credit under his own name and this different Social Security number,” the document states.

At last week’s sentencing, U.S. District Judge Michael Barrett also ordered Carroll to pay a $200 special assessment and capped restitution at $500,000, according to court documents.

“I am grateful that Judge Barrett was able to review the evidence presented by both sides and arrive at a sentence which was reflective of what actually occurred,” Carroll told the Observer.

Rothacker: 704-358-5170; Twitter: @rickrothacker

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