CHICAGO (STMW) — A Chicago man and three south suburban accomplices are facing federal charges for taking out dozens of fraudulent automobile loans worth more than $1.4 million, prosecutors say.

Precious W. House, 47-year-old Chicago resident and president of a Plymouth, Ind., wholesale auto dealership, was arrested Wednesday for his role in the alleged scheme, a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s office said.

He pleaded not guilty to five counts of bank fraud and one count of making false statements on a loan application, prosecutors said.

House, along with co-defendants Brian K. Hughes, Michael O. Turner and Keith B. Foster, agreed to find loans for people seeking auto and personal loans in exchange for a 20 to 30 percent fee, prosecutors said.

They applied for 46 loans on behalf of such borrowers, and falsified information regarding income, employment and credit history on the application documents, authorities claim.

The four men were able to get at least 28 of the 46 loans, which sought a total of $1.4 million to buy luxury vehicles from House’s dealership, Rolling Auto Inc., and other dealerships.

If the borrowers refused to cash the checks, Hughes threatened to sue them or call police, the indictment claims. He then deposited the money in bank accounts he controlled in Illinois, California and Georgia.

In all, credit union lenders lost at least $914,000, authorities claim.

House, 47, will appear for a detention hearing Jan. 28 before Magistrate Judge Sidney I. Schenkier in U.S. District Court.

Hughes, 41, of Homewood, was arrested Jan. 9, the statement said. He was charged with four counts of bank fraud and one count of making false statements on a loan application.

Turner, 44, of Richton Park; and Foster, 46, of Harvey, have not been arrested, and will be arraigned Jan. 28 in federal court. Turner was charged with one count of bank fraud, while Foster was charged with one count each of bank fraud and making false statements on a loan application.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2014. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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