Glendale, California
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Loan-Sharks use L.A. District Attorney as their MuscleLos Angeles District Attorney arrests the Victim of Loan-Sharks DMV has the Victim of Loan-Sharks arrested

The California DMV, instead of protecting its citizens, has the victim of loan-sharks arrested. A Lancaster, CA dealer was arrested when he was unable to continue paying the 500% usurious interest charges by unlicensed flooring lenders AFC and DSC.

A California DMV investigator reported to the Los Angeles District Attorney that the used car dealer failed to transfer titles for cars sold to customers. The DMV investigator failed to advise the D.A. that AFC and DSC has committed numerous felonies in California, ruining the lives of small business owners and costing this state millions of dollars in unpaid fees.

Extortion and blackmail are synonymous with Automotive Finance Corporation and Dealer Services Corporation. The deep pockets of head bosses John E. Fuller and Mike Hockett have allowed them to violate California's Constitution and statutes prohibiting usury along with a host of other racketeering laws.

AFC and DSC charged 500% interest on loans to car dealers in California. They didn't have to break any legs to collect; they used the DMV against the victims. Complaints to the DMV about these unlicensed lenders have been ignored for years. Instead, the DMV focused their muscle on the small used car dealer, ignoring the laws and regulations violated by these two unethical Indiana corporations.

Both lenders were required by California DMV statutes to indicate their lien on the titles as lenders, neither have complied with California law. Unless DMV gave dealer licenses to both these companies, millions of dollars were never collected in DMV fees.

DSC admitted counterfeiting titles; taking property they did not own; extorting a borrower by stealing his neighbor's property; and admitted not being licensed while making 100,000 loans in California. This single case in Orange County (30-2008 00083115) evidenced the following criminal facts:

Dealer Services Corporation counsel John Wick admitted that DSC "chose" not to be legally licensed as a lender in California from 2005 until May 2009. An unlicensed lender that willfully charges usurious interest is guilty of loan sharking (CC §1916-3(b)), a felony punishable by up to five years in prison and shall be null and void as to any agreement to pay interest.

DSC employee Troy Rogers admitted in court that he provided false evidences of registration (VC § 4463(a)(2)) and procured and offered false instruments for record (PC § 115); made false statements about material facts pertaining to his knowledge that the five vehicles were licensed and titled in California.

Kathleen Doolen, a vehicle verifier hired by DSC, testified that she provided false evidences of registration (VC § 4463(a)(2)); procured and offered false instruments for record (PC § 115); made false statements and concealed material facts (VC § 31); and under penalty of perjury, signed Indiana Forms 44049, falsely claiming to be an Indiana police officer, BMV official or BMV certified dealer signee all while being licensed by the DMV.

Both AFC and DSC made loans in California that required their license. The Legislature, in voiding contracts made in violation of the Finance Lenders Law and in creating a licensing scheme through which it directly regulates the finance lenders market, has made it clear that the Finance Lenders Law is a matter of significant importance to the state and is a fundamental policy of this state.

Mike Hockett and John E. Fuller

D. Michael Hockett and John E. Fuller are no strangers to the courts. Both claim they started AFC and DSC. Mike Hockett is listed as a director in early DSC filings, and both worked at Auction Broadcasting Company. Many AFC loan documents in California have John Fuller signing as president, again while AFC was unlicensed.

Mike Hockett, owner of ABC Auctions, was honored October 2009 by the National Auto Auction Association in San Francisco. Hockett said he and his sons now operate ABC at nine locations in the U.S.

A month earlier, his son Brian Scott Hockett was convicted of bank fraud following an investigation by the F.B.I. On September 9, 2009 a federal judge sentenced Brian Scott Hockett to 18 months in prison and was ordered by Judge Sarah Evans Barker to pay nearly $2.5 million in restitution. Hockett committed the fraud during a three-year period ending in 2006, while owner of Family Management Corp. The company was a wholesaler of used vehicles operating as Fleetmax.

Fleetmax has also been indicated as the source of counterfeit titles for both AFC and DSC. A 2006 Indiana Inspector General stated Fleetmax had violated Bureau of Motor Vehicle laws by submitting documents with inaccurate signatures and identifying information and recommended that Fleetmax lose its contract with BMV.

Another son, Michael D. Hockett, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit extortion following his arrest by the FBI in 2001. Hockett plotted to blackmail a Virginia councilor into dropping his opposition to a zoning issue. According to Norfolk Federal Court records, Hockett sent an exotic dancer to the councilor's office, who threw her out, while two accomplices hid outside taking pictures.

Automotive Finance Corporation Title Fraud in New Jersey

In 2009 New Jersey's Governor Corzine and Attorney General Milgram reached agreement with Automotive Finance Corporation (AFC) regarding possible title fraud.

AFC titled cars in Arkansas by signing an "Affidavit of Repossession" even though cars were purchased and located in New Jersey.

"It's probably a criminal matter" said Sandy Grossman of the New Jersey Division of Motor Vehicles. "We feel outraged, but there is nothing we can do" she says.

Federal laws violated by AFC:

1. Possession of counterfeit state motor vehicle titles with the intent to defraud, in violation of Title 18, U.S.C. § 513;

2. Utilizing interstate commerce to transfer false and fictitious documents with the intent to defraud, in violation of Title 18, U.S.C. § 514;

3. Utilizing interstate commerce to transport counterfeit state motor vehicle title securities of the value of $5,000 or more, in violation of Title 18, U.S.C. § 2314;

4. Concealing the commission of a felony, in violation of Title 18, U.S.C. § 4.

"We can feel personally outraged, but there is nothing we can do," says Sandy Grossman, a representative of the state Division of Motor Vehicles. "It's probably a criminal matter, and we don't have law enforcement authority."

No, but the state does have the authority to grant title to cars located in New Jersey, owned by New Jersey residents -- cars that never left the state of New Jersey once they arrived here still reeking of that new car smell. It can reject doubtful claims in Arkansas and let corporations with high-priced lawyers already on retainer, instead of working-class people, fight it out in court.

AFC officials took title to the cars -- even though they already were purchased months earlier in New Jersey -- by filing what are called "affidavits of repossession" in, of all places, Arkansas.

Roger Duren, the Arkansas motor vehicle director, said representatives of an AFC office in his state filed the affidavits claiming possession of the cars.

I assume that means physical possession," says Duren, who admitted he was surprised to learn the cars are sitting unusable in New Jersey driveways.

Duren says there is nothing he can do, even though his agency's actions blocked the rightful claims of New Jersey owners. He can't declare the titles invalid despite his belief AFC had physical possession of the cars when it filed those affidavits.

"I'd need a court order for that," he says.

California Department of Motor Vehicles

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Any relation to the Hockett de
#89455

The son of Adesa Inc. co-founder Michael Hockett agreed to plead guilty Monday to federal bank fraud, the same day the charges were brought by the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana in Indianapolis.

B. Scott Hockett, 45, faces maximum penalties of 30 years in prison and a fine of $1 million. A sentencing date has not been set.

According to the charges, Scott committed the alleged fraud during a three-year period ending in 2006 while owner of Indianapolis-based Family Management Corp. The company was a wholesaler of used vehicles that operated as Fleetmax.

Adesa is an auto auction company based in Carmel that Scott's father sold in 1995. The elder Hockett later founded Indianapolis-based Auction Broadcasting Corp., in 2000.

The federal charges allege that the younger Hockett fraudulently diverted funds from lines of credit to buy stock and hid the diversion from the banks by falsifying reports he filed with them.

The falsified reports showed that Fleetmax had more assets to secure the credit than were available, according to the charges. Fifth Third Bank and the former National City Bank issued the credit.

At one point, the reports showed Fleetmax had about $12 million in assets, when it fact it only had $750,000 available, according to the charges.

The banks lost a total of about $2.4 million as a result of the alleged fraud.

This is not the first time one of Michael's six sons has run afoul...

In 2001, Michael D. Hockett was sentenced for bribery in a federal court in Virginia. He served five months in jail, 150 days of home detention and was ordered to pay a $20,000 fine.

The junior Michael was one of three men implicated in a bizarre plot to blackmail a Suffolk City, Va., councilor into dropping his opposition to a zoning issue. The rezoning would have allowed Michael to relocate his auto auction business from Chesapeake to Suffolk.

The scheme involved an attempt to get photos of the councilor with an exotic dancer who showed up at his insurance office. The plot unraveled when the councilor threw the woman out.

Michael apologized during sentencing for what he called an "idiotic scheme."

In another case involving the Hocket family, the wife of Michael Hockett in 1997 agreed to pay $60,600 to settle Securities and Exchange Commission charges that she tipped off her brother before Minnesota Power & Light bought 80 percent of Adesa for $162 million. By trading on the information, the brother made $25,500 in illegal profits, the SEC said.

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