A sweeping investigation into a large fraud ring that involved high-end cars and ripped off banks and credit card companies was broken up and led to charges against 21 people, including a San Diego man whom prosecutors said was the ringleader of the scheme that netted $5 million.
In a news conference, District Attorney Summer Stephan said the complex fraud went on for at least three years, and was orchestrated by 33-year-old Bryan Orr of San Diego, who faces multiple charges and a maximum sentence of 100 years in prison if convicted.
Stephan said the case was “one of the biggest auto-theft related cases in San Diego County history.” More than 100 vehicles were involved, as well as dozens of shell companies and bank accounts that were opened to facilitate the ripoffs.
California Highway Patrol Capt. James Portilla said the complexity of the scam was something he had not seen in 30 years of working auto theft cases for the agency.
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