Owners of Norman car dealership indicted on wire fraud charges

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Newly released court documents show that three people associated with a local car dealership have been charged with wire fraud.

A federal indictment shows that 48-year-old Bobby Chris Mayes, 61-year-old Charles Gooch, and 35-year-old Courtney Wells have been charged with 25 counts of wire fraud, conspiracy, issuing forged securities, and aggravated identity theft.

According to the federal grand jury indictment, the suspects used their positions as co-owners of the Big Red Dealerships to engage in a conspiracy to commit wire fraud by obtaining millions of dollars in loan proceeds.

Officials claim the suspects lied to lenders about the type, source, and amount of borrowers’ down payments or vehicle trade-ins. The indictment claims that at least one loan officer was bribed.

According to the indictment, the Big Red Dealerships used advertisements to target customers with poor credit. Mayes, Gooch, and Wells would then allegedly induce lenders to approve loans by documenting that the customers provided cash down payments or trade-ins, even if those didn’t occur.

Officials allege that some employees even forged the signatures of customers who supposedly provided cash down payments.

The indictment claims the criminal activity was occurring from January 2014 through March 2019.

The indictment alleges approximately 476 loans were approved based on false cash down payments, and roughly 636 loans were approved based on false vehicle trade-ins. 

Mayes, Gooch, and Wells were all charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, 12 charges of wire fraud, six counts of uttering forged securities, and six counts of aggravated identity theft.

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