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Charges: Man Swindled $100K+ From Blaine Auto Company

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A 59-year-old Plymouth man who had a business partnership with an auto sales company is accused of swindling more than $100,000 from that company, according to charged filed Friday in Anoka County Court.

David Mark Wicklein was charged with one count of theft by swindle over $35,000 in connection with the case, which goes back to September of 2011.

According to the charges, Wicklein formed a business relationship in January 2009 with Motors of Blaine, buying and selling cars that the auto company funded. Wicklein would receive 60 percent of the profits for each vehicle sold, but would also pay 60 percent of fees associated with each vehicle. That included repairs and any fees associated with selling vehicles at auction.

The complaint states that by January of this year, at least one owner at Motors of Blaine became concerned when information on transactions that Wicklein had didn't match what the auction companies were giving them. Wicklein then admitted to the owner that he falsified documents to cover up an ongoing theft. Wicklein told them he had been stealing from the company to pay off tax debts.

Wicklein falsified selling information, including selling vehicles for cash and never reporting the sales. He also falsified vehicle arbitrations to get paid by the company and get cash from unreported vehicle sales.

Owners of Motors of Blaine reported 33 vehicles that amounted to more than $50,000 in lost inventory, more than $26,000 in missing receivables, more than $20,000 in vehicles sold at Manheim Auto Auction that were never reported, more than $4,000 in underreported vehicles at the auction and more than $2,500 in missing receivables from Adesa Auctions, the complaint states.

The total amount stolen came out to more than $104,000. If convicted, Wicklein faces up to 20 years in prison and $100,000 in fines.

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