Affidavit: Former Fox Toyota employees loaned vehicles to relatives, stole tires and wheels – KVIA El Paso
EL PASO, Texas – The ABC-7 I-Team has obtained the complaint affidavits for six of the seven men charged in a fraud and theft scheme involving former Fox Toyota Employees.
The alleged schemes, which allegedly involved two Fox Toyota sales managers and the owner of Extreme Concepts Body Shop, took place in between November 1, 2015 and February 5, 2016.
LUIS SILVA & LUIS SILVA JUNIOR
44-year-old Luis Silva was charged with Misapplication of Fiduciary Property in the amount of $45,890, a complaint affidavit states.
Silva, the general sales manager at the Fox Toyota located at 11165 Gateway West, is accused of allowing family members to use vehicles belonging to the dealership for extended periods of time.
Fox Toyota General Manager Barry Nestor was notified an inventory audit revealed several missing vehicles. Nestor received information indicating Silva was allowing relatives to use the missing vehicles with permission from ownership, the affidavit states.
Silva allegedly let his son, Luis Silva Jr., use a 2015 Honda Civic belonging to the dealership. A complaint affidavit states Silva Jr. was cited by police officers while driving the vehicle on March 15, 2016.
Inventory documents provided to police by the dealership stated the Civic had been out for 53 days and listed as “sold Luis” even though no sales documents had been submitted. After Silva was terminated, he allegedly refused to purchase or return the 2015 Honda Civic.
Dealership employees were forced to retrieve the vehicle from Silva’s residence. “Officers removed marijuana from the vehicle on March 22, 2016 while it was parked at the defendant’s residence,” the complaint affidavit states.
Investigators later learned Silva Jr. had also been operating a 2014 Scion belonging to the dealership in between December 2013 and March 2014, the affidavit states. Silva Jr. allegedly received multiple citations while driving the Scion, the document states. He allegedly wrecked the Scion in March 2014, resulting in the dealership losing $5,583.
Documents further state Silva Jr. was involved in a separate collision on March 3, 2016. The wrecked vehicle reportedly belonged to Manuel Mata, one of the witnesses who cooperated with police in the investigation.
Silva Sr. allegedly told Mata not to report the wreck to police and that he would have the vehicle repaired. Silva Sr. allegedly loaned Mata a 2011 Chevrolet Silverado belonging to the dealership.
A court document states Mata was involved in a collision while driving the loaned Silverado on March 23, 2016.
“An insurance claim was filed, but the money was received by co-defendant Mark Alvarez at Extreme Concepts Body Shop and was never applied to the vehicle or the financial loss sustained by the victim business,” the complaint affidavit states.
Court documents reveal Alvarez was the recipient of a check from GEICO in the amount of $5,954. The claim check was meant for repairs to the 2011 Chevrolet Silverado loaned by Luis Silva to Mata.
Mata took the Silverado to Extreme Concepts “at the direction of Luis Silva,” documents state, “The insurance claim was filed and GEICO sent a check to Extreme Concepts for the damage to the Silverado, with the payees listed as Xtreme Concepts and Hoy Fox Toyota.”
The document states the check was deposited into Alvarez’s Wells Fargo account. The Silverado was never repaired and the dealership later sold it at a loss of $4,076, documents state
MIGUEL ANGEL SILVA
32-year-old Miguel Angel Silva was charged with Unauthorized Use of Motor Vehicle.
According to a complaint affidavit, Barry Nester, the owner of Fox Toyota, was attempting to locate missing vehicles from the dealership’s inventory. The missing vehicles included a 2014 Toyota Camry.
Nester questioned Luis Silva, the general sales manager, who allegedly failed to explain the whereabouts of the missing Camry. There was no record of a Borrowed Vehicle Agreement and a theft of vehicle report was filed with El Paso Police.
After the report was filed, the vehicle was returned to the dealership by “an unknown individual,” the complaint affidavit states. Detectives searched the car and allegedly found Miguel Angel Silva’s business card in the vehicle.
The court document states Miguel Angel Silva is the brother of Luis Silva.
A witness told police Miguel Angel Silva had been driving the 2014 Toyota Camry to work daily. The Camry had paper tags, the witness said.
When detectives interviewed Miguel Angel Silva, he allegedly told them the Camry was loaned to him while his own vehicle was undergoing warranty service. Documents state Miguel Angel Silva was unable to provide the name of the Fox Toyota manager who loaned him the Camry or documentation stating the Camry was loaned to him.
Detectives learned Miguel Angel Silva’s personal vehicle never underwent warranty service and instead was at an auto shop undergoing repairs for damage sustained in a hit and run.
Documents state the Camry’s paper tags were altered to avoid expiration.
36-year-old Carlos Velasquez was charged with Unauthorized Use of Motor Vehicle.
A complaint affidavit filed against Velasquez states an inventory audit was conducted at Fox Toyota and managers learned a 2001 Toyota 4Runner was missing.
A manager was told Luis Silva, the general sales manager, was “possibly loaning vehicles out to his family for personal use,” the affidavit states.
When asked about the 4Runner, Luis Silva told managers the vehicle was in the dealership’s lot. A dealership manager, Luis Silva, and owner Steve Fox walked the dealership’s lot and could not locate the 4Runner.
As Luis Silva was informed he was being terminated, he received a text message stating the 4Runner was at the lot, the document states.
The manager and Steve Fox went back to the lot and learned the 4Runner had reappeared. They also noticed the pickup’s hood was warm, indicating someone had been driving it.
Witnesses told detectives they had seen Carlos Velasquez operating the 4Runner as his personal vehicle for quite some time. Velasquez is the brother of Luis Silva, a complaint affidavit states.
At the time, Velasquez was working as a lot attendant at Fox Toyota. Managers told police Velasquez was never authorized to use the vehicle.
CESAR VALDIVIEZ & ALBERT VARGAS
41-year old Cesar Valdiviez was charged with Engaging in Organized Criminal Activity (Theft). Court documents state Valdiviez is accused of stealing tires and rims belonging to Fox Toyota.
In January of 2013, more than 20 new trucks were upgraded with new tires and wheels.
The parts manager at Fox Toyota told police the old tires and rims, valued at nearly $55,000, were never returned to the dealership.
A witness told police the tires and rims were stored at the Fox Detail shop and tires and rims were not supposed to be there, the document states. Valdiviez and Albert Vargas, a sales manager at Fox Toyota, allegedly told the witness not to tell anyone the tires and rims were being stored in the shop.
At a later date, Vargas and Valdiviez both showed up in a pickup hauling a trailer and “removed (some tires and rims) from the dealership,” a court document states.
The witness, indentified only as “Garcia” in court documents, told police lot attendants Juan DeLeon and Rudy Reyes later picked up additional sets of tires at the detail shop. Reyes and DeLeon are both listed as witnesses in court documents. They allegedly provided written statements in which they describe receiving instructions from Valdiviez to take the tires to Extreme Concepts, a body shop on Lee Trevino owned by Mark Alvarez.
Court documents state Alvarez “was known by Fox Toyota employees and is the cousin of Albert Vargas, charged with Engaging in Organized Criminal Activity (Theft).
39-year-old Mark Alvarez is charged with Engaging in Organized Criminal Activity (Theft >$20K <$100K) and Engaging in Organized Criminal Activity (Theft >$25,000 <$30,000).
Court documents state Alvarez is the owner of Extreme Concepts, a body shop on Lee Trevino. He allegedly conspired with Luis Silva, Cesar Valdiviez and Albert Vargas to steal tires and wheels, valued at nearly $55,000, belonging to Fox Toyota.
Alvarez’s body shop was contracted by Fox Toyota to wash its vehicles at a rate of $1.40 a vehicle, documents state. While reviewing paperwork Fox Toyota General Manager Barry Nestor noticed a check in the amount of $15,000.
Nestor checked invoices and learned that the number of cars being washed “greatly exceeded the number of actual cars on the lot,” a complaint affidavit states. One of the invoices allegedly revealed an “over-invoicing” of more than $4,700 for the month of March 2016 alone.
Nestor accused Alvarez of stealing from the dealership. Alvarez did not deny the allegations and provided an “explanation,” the documents state. Fox Toyota declined to pay the March 2016 invoice from Extreme Concepts.
A review of the invoices for the previous months allegedly revealed the dealership was being billed for the washing of hundreds of vehicles it did not own.
Owner Steve Fox told ABC-7 said these types of scams are prevalent in the auto industry because there are so many different sales being conducted.
“You operate a business under a premise that the people you’re doing business with are honest; the people you employ are honest. So, you’re not really looking at everything under a microscope,” Fox said. “When there’s a conspiracy they can really mislead you for a long period of time.”
ABC-7 Reporter Darren Hunt spoke with Jaime Olivas, the attorney representing Mark Alvarez and Albert Vargas. The attorney said, “They maintain their innocence and are looking forward to their day in court. They are confidant they will be vindicated.”