Columbia Auto Dealer Pleads Guilty to $1.7 Million Bank Fraud Scheme

Related Story

JEFFERSON CITY - Federal officials revealed Monday the owner of three Columbia auto dealerships pleaded guilty last week in federal court to a $1.7 million bank fraud scheme that involved financing for more than 100 vehicles.

Aaron Matthew Payne, 39, of O'Fallon, Mo., pleaded guilty on Tuesday to the charge of engaging in a scheme to defraud several financial institutions. Payne was the owner of Columbia Car Classics, Inc.; Mid-America Truck Sales II, Inc.: and Kingdom Auto II, Inc., dealerships that primarily sold pre-owned luxury vehicles.

According to prosecutors, Payne's scheme involved financing for 118 vehicles, which resulted in a total loss of $1,751,407. The Callaway Bank sustained more than $1.2 million in losses related to 78 vehicles. Other financial institutions that suffered losses as a result of Payne's scheme included Missouri Credit Union, Dealer Services Corporation, Manheim Automotive Financial Services, Blue Ridge Bank and Trust, Boulevard Bank, Ford Motor Credit Company and Jefferson Bank of Missouri.

Payne could face up to 30 years in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $1 million.