Kentucky woman gets prison time for role in truck warranty fraud

Published 9:26 pm Monday, March 28, 2022

A Kentucky woman was sentenced Monday to one year and three months in federal prison for her role in a truck warranty fraud scheme.

Tammy Newsome, 55, of Ashland, Kentucky, also was ordered to pay $4.3 million in restitution for her 2020 guilty plea to mail fraud, U.S. Attorney Will Thompson announced in a news release.

Newsome was an administrative assistant for a Kentucky used car dealership that bought trucks at wholesale prices at auction. The dealership obtained hundreds of copies of Kentucky and West Virginia driver’s licenses and fraudulently titled the trucks in the name of those residents, according to court records.

Prosecutors said that as part of a scheme to misuse Toyota Motor Corp.’s warranty extension program, Newsome helped induce the automaker to rebuy hundreds of fraudulently titled trucks at 150% of value between 2013 and 2015.

Newsome admitted making false representations to the Department of Motor Vehicles to obtain false vehicle titles in the names of false owners, including forged signatures. Toyota issued checks that were deposited into the car dealership’s bank account, court records showed.

Three other people, including Big Blue Motor Sales owner James Pinson of Wayne County, were sentenced to prison earlier this year for their roles in the scheme and were required to pay restitution.