Orange County Lamborghini dealer to plead guilty to wire fraud
An Orange County man, whose car dealerships accounted for about 5% of all Lamborghinis sold worldwide, has agreed to plead guilty to a single charge of felony wire fraud and faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison, authorities announced today.
Viken Keuylian, 45, of Laguna Hills, allegedly schemed Volkswagen Credit Inc. out of at least $12 million, according to a statement from the U.S. Department of Justice. The financing company gave him loans to purchase the luxury vehicles. He is scheduled to appear in federal court in Santa Ana on Monday.
Keuylian owned Lamborghini of Orange County and Lamborghini of Calabasas, which have now both closed. Under his agreement with VCI, Keuylian was loaned money to purchase cars that he put on his lots and for each car sold he "was obligated to pay back the money loaned to purchase that specific vehicle," authorities said.
Keuylian allegedly deceived VCI by telling them the cars he had already sold remained on his lots. But, in fact, he had misappropriated that money to pay-off other expenses, including business debts connected with a vineyard and a Lotus car dealership in Beverly Hills, authorities said. In one incident, authorities said Keuylian sold about 54 luxury vehicles in October 2008 for less than he owed VCI for each car. VCI loaned him $12,560,314 to purchase those cars, but Keuylian received only $8,163,275 from the sales, and authorities said none of the initial loan was paid back.
-- Ari. B. Bloomekatz