FOX 2

Hazelwood man admits $400K in credit card fraud to buy cars

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ST. LOUIS – A Hazelwood, Missouri, man appeared in federal court on Tuesday and admitted to a series of fraudulent schemes to acquire numerous vehicles, and working with others to do the same.

Prosecutors with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Missouri said Naquan Powers, 27, admitted to buying three cars from a Florissant dealership between June 24, 2019, and Aug. 23, 2019, and used fake Social Security cards and driver’s licenses to apply for loans.

Powers purchased a Chevy Impala with an $18,098 loan, a Chevy Tahoe with a $42,086 loan, and a BMW 428 XI with a loan in the amount of $29,079.

Police finally arrested Powers when he attempted to purchase a Dodge Challenger with a loan in the amount of $38,191.

Following his arrest, Powers helped at least four other people to buy cars through fraudulent means at dealerships across St. Louis and Southern Illinois.

Powers told the court he accessed Discover Bank accounts belonging to others in 2018 and 2019, and changed information on those accounts, so that he would receive debit cards and checks for them.

In addition, he applied for a Paycheck Protection Program loan and four loans from the CARES Act, claiming losses from a fake freight truck company.

All told, Powers’ schemes cost his victims $404,415.

Prosecutors said five other people involved in the schemes have also been indicted.

Powers pleaded guilty to four counts of bank fraud and three counts of aggravated identity theft. He’ll be sentenced on June 30. He faces up to 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine on the bank fraud charges, and at least two years on the ID theft charges.