Prestige Automobile Corp., the former distributor of BMW on Guam, has entered into a plea agreement with the government, ending the prosecution of felony charges for tampering with public records in connection with fraudulent car transactions, the Office of the Attorney General said Friday.
Prestige Automobiles was the authorized dealer of the German car for 25 years until it lost it distribution rights in December 2017. The reason for the contract termination was not disclosed ten. Atkins Kroll took over the dealership rights.
"Prestige presented fraudulent registration applications to the Guam Department of Revenue and Taxation in order to fake the sale of vehicles on Guam and then sell them off-island in a gray market scheme," AGO said.
And the AGO says this was done dozens of times.
For that, "Prestige must pay a fine of $10,000 into the Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund, a program that offers financial assistance to victims of violent crimes and their families."
“This result goes to show that no person or organization is above or outside the law. The people are very happy to have a conviction in this matter, which will hopefully dissuade others from blurring the lines between proper business practices and criminal activity. The charges and conclusion to this matter will ensure that each person can be more confident in the reliability of their business dealings,” said prosecuting attorney Sean Brown.
“No matter what pressures businesses face in the current economic climate, it is never acceptable to seek an unlawful competitive advantage,” he finished.
Former Chief Prosecutor Joe McDonald, who handled the case, offered, “A special thanks to the Federal Bureau of Investigations who was instrumental in the investigation and prosecution of this case, as well Guam Customs and Quarantine, the United States Postal Inspector, BMW Corporation, and the OAG Investigators.”
Defendant Ana Christine Absalon, a former employee, pled guilty in connection with this case in Superior Court and in a related case in federal court. The District Court case resulted in Guam’s first-ever tax crime conviction dealing with taxpayer information. She is waiting to be sentenced in the District Court case.