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Former Grand Rapids car dealer indicted in $1.5 million bank scam

  • Star Tribune
  • October 26, 2012 - 9:36 PM

The onetime owner of a car dealership in Grand Rapids, Minn., has been charged with scheming to cheat her bank out of about $1.5 million, using some of the money to pay for a trip to the Virgin Islands, according to a federal indictment.

Jodi A. Montavon, 47, of Grand Rapids, was charged in federal court in Minneapolis with bank fraud and engaging in a monetary transaction in criminally derived property.

The indictment said Montavon inflated the cost of vehicles in stock at her Ford dealership so she could borrow more from American Bank of the North than the vehicles were actually worth.

She also allegedly sold financed vehicles without promptly repaying the bank the amount advanced to acquire them, and she provided false monthly statements to the bank to conceal cash flow problems. In one of those false statements, for October 2008, she covered up "substantial net operating losses" for the dealership.

Montavon also transferred more than $42,000 from the company's bank account to pay off the balance owed on a dealership business credit card account that included the Virgin Islands trip, the indictment says.

PAUL WALSH

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