A former sales manager at Serra Nissan has been indicted by a federal grand jury for bank fraud, according to court documents obtained by Fox6 News. The investigation is related to an FBI investigation into falsifying car loan documents.
Court records show Abdul Islam Mughal, 47, was arrested Sept. 30 by FBI agents before he was to leave the country.
According to the FBI affidavit, Mughal was planning to leave the country that day to move with his family to the United Arab Emirates where his son is involved in an arranged marriage.
Mughal's wife and son have been living in Pakistan since June, according to the affidavit. It also states that all the money had been taken from Mughal's personal bank accounts.
The indictment says that from about Oct. 1, 2012, until Oct. 31, 2012, Mughal had devised a scheme to defraud Capital One Auto Finance "to obtain moneys, funds, credits, assets, securities, and other property owned by and under the custody and control of Capital One, National Association, by means of materially false and fraudulent pretenses, representations, and promises."
Mughal had been the general sales manager at Serra Nissan for several years prior to his recent resignation, according court records.
Documents show there is a federal grand jury investigation involving Serra Nissan and that since April the dealership has been "under investigation for fraudulently falsifying costumer's loan documents and submitting the fraudulent information to various financial institutions to obtain auto financing."
A confidential informant, who had previously worked at Serra Nissan, came to the FBI in March "and provided multiple volunteered audio recordings regarding the loan fraud, documented proof of the loan fraud, and miscellaneous documentation he acquired during his employment at Serra Nissan," according to one FBI agent's affidavit.
One recording is of a man identified as Mughal and two other employees discussing what information was needed in order to get a specific customer approved for an auto loan, according to the affidavit.
The informant also gave the FBI documents that show Mughal "had changed two customers' monthly incomes in order for them to be able to obtain an auto loan with a financial institution," the affidavit states.
Mughal was indicted Friday by a federal grand jury with one count of bank fraud. He pleaded not guilty in court Monday. He was released on a $5,000 bond with special conditions for release. The conditions of his release are sealed, but court documents show Mughal surrendered his passport.
No other charges have been filed that relate to the investigation.
We contact the attorney representing Serra Nissan. Attorney Augusta S. Dowd sent us the following statement on behalf of Serra Nissan:
"It is our firm's privilege to represent Serra Nissan-VW. Serra Nissan-VW has been proudly serving the Birmingham community for more than thirty years. The company has always considered integrity a guiding principle of its business
We were deeply disappointed to learn of allegations that a former employee of the company, Abdul Mughal, had fallen short of the values that have been the foundation of Serra Nissan-VW's longtime success.
White Arnold & Dowd is working on behalf of the company, Serra Nissan-VW, to investigate these charges, and we are cooperating fully with authorities. We appreciate the professionalism and diligence of the U.S. Attorney's office in Birmingham in this investigation.
To Serra Nissan-VW's customers and community, we want to stress that the actions of a single individual are no reflection on the company's other loyal employees who conduct business honestly and ethically under the Serra Nissan-VW name. Our office will coordinate all inquiries of Serra Nissan-VW. Serra Nissan-VW will continue its focus on providing quality, unmatched service to its customers, and will continue to do so with integrity and in a manner that upholds the company's guiding principles. "
Copyright 2013 WBRC. All rights reserved.
1720 Valley View Drive