Man who swindled 5 free automobiles from Tesla will get 4-year sentence


A person who managed to swindle Tesla into giving him one free automobile after one other has obtained a four-year sentence for the fraud.

This wild story first hit our radar again in 2019 after we reported on the stays of a burned Tesla Mannequin X being noticed on a frozen Lake Champlain in Vermont, pictured above. On the time, there was completely no details about how the electrical automobile ended up on the frozen lake.

It took one other two years for us to study of the person behind the unusual sight.

In 2021, we reported on the Workplace of the US Legal professional for the District of Vermont bringing a case in opposition to Michael A. Gonzalez, a 32-year-old man from Colchester, Vermont.

When the automobile was first found, our main principle was insurance coverage fraud.

In line with the indictment, that principle turned out to be correct, however the backstory is way crazier than we may have anticipated.

The US Secret Service and the Vermont Division of Motor Automobiles revealed that Gonzalez exploited Tesla’s buying system to purchase autos and take possession whereas not permitting the ultimate fee to undergo. He would then promote the autos to used dealerships or people on-line.

They wrote within the indictment:

In line with the indictment filed within the case, between September 2018 and January 2021, Gonzalez obtained 5 Tesla autos value a complete of roughly $607,000 from dealerships in New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, and Florida. For every automobile, Gonzalez made an preliminary fee of roughly $2,500, after which organized for digital funds transfers to cowl the steadiness of the automobile’s value from accounts with inadequate funds or from fictitious accounts. Gonzalez took supply of the autos from Tesla earlier than Tesla found his failure to finish the ultimate funds. Gonzalez resold or tried to resell 4 of the 5 autos.

The burned Mannequin X discovered on the frozen lake was the fifth and final Tesla automobile to be a part of Gonzalez’s scheme.

He reportedly wasn’t in a position to promote the automobile and determined to torch it and make a fraudulent insurance coverage declare as a substitute.

At the moment, the US Legal professional’s Workplace in Vermont introduced that Gonzalez was sentenced to 4 years in jail:

The US Legal professional’s Workplace for the District of Vermont said that on October 11, 2023, Michael Gonzalez, 34, of Shelburne, Vermont, was sentenced by Chief United States District Choose Geoffrey Crawford to a time period of 48 months’ imprisonment to be adopted by a three-year time period of supervised launch. Gonzalez beforehand pleaded responsible to 5 counts of possessing and disposing of stolen autos that had crossed state traces.

This ends the saga of the burned Mannequin X on a frozen lake in Vermont.

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