Owner of Reisterstown Auto Detailing Service Indicted for Submitting False Invoices Overbilling a Customer More Than $515,000
BALTIMORE, MD—A federal grand jury today indicted Lawrence Coleman, age 46, of Reisterstown, Maryland, on charges arising from a scheme to defraud a customer by submitting false invoices, overbilling more than $515,000.
The indictment was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein and Special Agent in Charge Kevin Perkins of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
According to the indictment, Coleman owned and operated Perfection Plus Auto Detailing, located in Reisterstown, Maryland. Prior to starting his business, Coleman was an employee of Avis, a rental car company. Beginning in 2007, Perfection Plus contracted with Avis to provide vehicle prepping services at Baltimore/Washington Thurgood Marshall Airport (“BWI”) in Hanover, Maryland. These services were performed on new vehicles prior to being offered for rent (infleeting), as well as for vehicles that were being removed from service (defleeting). According to the indictment, after a rental vehicle underwent Perfection Plus’ infleeting or defleeting service at the BWI site, the service manager for Perfection Plus sent Coleman a vehicle worksheet that included a checklist of the work that was performed on each car. Based upon the submitted worksheets, Coleman prepared invoices listing the identification numbers of the cars serviced, and then sent those invoices to Avis, billing Avis approximately $14.75 per vehicle for the prep service.
The indictment alleges that from August 2007 through November 2010, Coleman submitted false invoices to Avis for prepping services that were not performed on thousands of rental vehicles purportedly serviced by Perfection Plus, sometimes submitting more than twenty invoices for the same vehicle. To conceal the scheme, Coleman submitted new invoices that contained both the identification numbers of rental vehicles for which payment was legitimately due and those for which payment had already been made. Coleman allegedly used his knowledge as a former Avis employee to avoid closer scrutiny of his billing practices by submitting individual invoices that were less than $1,000, a threshold amount not requiring a second level of approval under Avis’ internal accounting procedures.
The indictment alleges that Coleman overbilled Avis approximately $515,149, and the indictment seeks forfeiture in that amount.
Coleman faces a sentence of 20 years in prison for wire fraud. Coleman’s initial appearance has not been scheduled.
An indictment is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by indictment is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the FBI for its work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Martin J. Clarke, who is prosecuting the case.