Ex-sales manager charged in Las Vegas car dealership embezzlement scheme

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A former sales manager for a Las Vegas car dealership has been charged with carrying out an embezzlement scheme that caused the dealership more than $250,000 in losses, according to Las Vegas police.

Michael Sims Jr., 51, of Henderson, was arrested Thursday at the Clark County Detention Center for a single felony robbery of $100,000 or more. A warrant for Sims obtained by Las Vegas police in October says Sims is charged with committing an extended robbery at CardinaleWay Acura, 7000 W. Sahara Ave., which cost the company $255,618.

Police said an investigation into Sims began after a supervisor at the dealership learned in March 2021 that a cashier’s check given to the business by a customer could not be processed. Sims, when asked about it, said the customer was supposed to bring a new check later.

The supervisor, however, contacted the customer and learned that the customer had in fact given the Sims a cash deposit when purchasing their vehicle. Supervisors, police said, then challenged Sims over the discrepancy.

“The Sims became uncomfortable and confirmed that the customer had brought cash for the transaction,” police said. “Sims told (the supervisor) he stole the money because he had a gambling problem.”

Police say Sims told supervisors he stole from the dealership in several transactions when customers brought in cash deposits. The dealership then contacted all affected customers and remedied the situation so that “the customers are not victimized and the business bears the full losses,” police said.

According to the police, the Sims wrote receipts using a receipt book that had already disappeared, then manipulated computerized business records.

“To cover his theft, he couldn’t get large enough credit card deposits (so) he was going back into the system changing contract amounts for deposits and falsifying contracts to balance the books so he wouldn’t show the dealer any loss “, said the police. .

Sims was fired shortly after the discovery, police said. Further audits revealed that Sims was also stealing from co-workers by not giving them money earned from attending events at dealerships. Police said gambling receipts showed Sims wagered $35,000 at local PT pubs in just a few months in 2021.

Sims was arrested Thursday morning by Las Vegas police after being involved in a car accident on Eastern and Serene Avenues.

Court records do not mention a lawyer for the Sims. He remained housed in the detention center Friday morning, although Las Vegas court records indicate he was granted a release on his own recognizance while under low-level electronic monitoring.

His next court appearance is scheduled for Thursday.

Contact Glenn Puit by email at gpuit@reviewjournal.com. To follow @GlennatRJ on Twitter.

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