Previous title clerk charged in Mich. dealership embezzlement scenario

A former Betten Baker Chevrolet-Buick of Cadillac worker was arrested following prosecutors alleged he embezzled more than $68,000 from the northern Michigan dealership.

Steven Michael Garrod, 35, of Cadillac, Mich., who experienced been a title clerk at the Betten Baker dealership, awaits a court docket day Tuesday immediately after remaining charged last month by the Wexford County prosecutor with embezzlement amongst $50,000 and $100,000.

A plea of not guilty was entered on Garrod’s behalf through the Tuesday arraignment.

Wexford County Prosecutor Corey Wiggins told Automotive News that Garrod, who labored at the dealership for about eight decades, is accused of embezzling $68,070.66 between Sept. 24, 2020, and Oct. 14, 2022.

“The rates are just allegations, and he is harmless till confirmed guilty,” Wiggins mentioned.

Makes an attempt to arrive at Garrod for remark ended up unsuccessful. His protection attorney, Brian Hoffman, declined to remark.

Betten Baker in Oct 2022 questioned the Cadillac put up of the Michigan Condition Law enforcement to look into an embezzlement at the dealership. Even though reviewing data, Betten Baker identified a $1,125.68 look at created payable to Garrod, in accordance to a Michigan Condition Law enforcement news launch. Dealership officials suspected that just one of the signatures on the verify was cast and then located more checks written to Garrod, in addition a number of other suspected fraudulent checks, police stated.

A licensed criminal analyst examined bank information and found a lot more than $68,000 in unauthorized checks, according to the Michigan Point out Police. A report was then given to the Wexford County prosecutor’s workplace.

Betten Baker Vehicle Group CFO Marc Brink declined to remark on the case other than to say in an e-mail to Automotive News that Betten Baker is “not interested in any more publicity from this unlucky party.”

Garrod was fired by the dealership group, according to the Michigan Point out Law enforcement release.

The next step in the situation from Garrod is preliminary assessment, in which the prosecutor should clearly show probable trigger in district court that the crime occurred and that Garrod was liable.

“Our spot is very modest,” reported Wiggins, who became prosecutor in November 2020. “Cadillac has a inhabitants of 10,000. We’ve obtained pretty number of dealerships. …We’ve experienced incidences in which people will check-travel motor vehicles and forget about to return them and create negative checks to cover the down payment, and then the automobiles are absent. To my understanding, this is the initially embezzlement case from a dealership that I can recall.”

Embezzlement scenarios at dealerships, on the other hand, are not uncommon in the marketplace.

In the southeast Michigan city of Dundee this thirty day period, a 43-year-old lady was arrested for allegedly embezzling a lot more than $200,000 from Williams Brothers Dodge-Chrysler-Jeep-Ram, in accordance to the Dundee Law enforcement Department.

Betten Baker Automobile Group, of Muskegon, Mich., rated No. 129 on Automotive News‘ checklist of the major 150 dealership teams based mostly in the U.S., with retail income of 6,263 new

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