Luxury Cars Bought Through Best Buy Scam Up For Auction
CHICAGO (CBS) — If you are looking for a deal on some of the most coveted cars on the planet, mark your calendar for April 19.
A stable of high-end luxury vehicles—once owned by a disgraced suburban businessman who purchased the cars by bilking electronics giant Best Buy out of millions of dollars–are set to go on the auction block, according to the website Jalopnik.
The cars are valued at around $3 million, according to Jalopnik.
The cars were owned by a Deerfield man who was sentenced in December to 15 years in prison for defrauding Best Buy Co. of $41 million.
U.S. District Court Chief Judge Michael J. Davis Russell sentenced Russell Adam Cole, 50, following Cole’s June conviction on a series of mail fraud, wire fraud and conspiracy charges.
Cole and his wife, Abby, ran a company, Chip Factory Inc., that sold computer and electronic supplies to Best Buy for years. Chip Factory submitted numerous artificially low bids between 2003 and 2007. After winning the contracts, the Coles would charge much higher prices on their invoices.
For example, an indictment stated Chip Factory at one point bid $69 to provide Best Buy with LCD screens but ended up delivering each screen at $1,169.
In court documents, Russell Cole once described the couple’s multimillion-dollar home on Deerfield’s Kenmore Avenue as “the house that Best Buy built.”
The Coles were able to continue to defraud Best Buy by bribing a Best Buy purchasing manager to allow the bogus invoices to be processed, prosecutors said.
Robert Bossany, a purchasing manager for Best Buy, pleaded guilty to money laundering and conspiracy charges and became a witness for the government. Bossany, 39, of Chetek, Wis., was sentenced to seven and a half years in prison.
Prosecutors said the Coles bribed Bossany with $100,000, a Harley-Davidson motorcycle and a Yamaha all-terrain vehicle.
According to the U.S. Treasury Department, proceeds from auctions are deposited in the Treasury Forfeiture Fund. Revenues from the fund are used for law enforcement activities and for restitution to victims of fraud.
The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report