(KMOV.com) – A former Auffenberg finance manager has been sentenced to one year and one day in prison for wire fraud.
Robert M. Garcia, 54, of Maryland Heights, Mo. was sentenced on Friday. Garcia was formerly employed as a finance manager for the Auffenberg Dealers Group in O’Fallon, Illinois, through April of 2011.
As the finance manager, Garcia handled payment transactions for customers’ purchases of pre-owned automobiles. The indictment alleged that Garcia misappropriated Auffenberg funds from vehicle sales to customers and then used other customer funds from future sales to make up the shortages of prior sales.
Following release from prison, Garcia will serve three years supervised release. He was also ordered to make full restitution.
“Whether you rob someone with a gun, or rob them with an accountant’s pen, my office will seek appropriate punishment,” noted United States Attorney Stephen R. Wigginton. Garcia was formerly employed as a finance manager for the Auffenberg Dealers Group in O’Fallon, Illinois, through April of 2011.
The total loss determined by the court was $98,608.49. The investigation was conducted by the U.S. Secret Service and the O’Fallon Police Department, with the assistance of the Auffenberg Dealer Group.