Couple Pulled Over in Calif. Auto Scam; Reportedly Defrauded 27 People of Nearly $2 Million

July 28, 2004

The owner of Beverly Hills (Calif.) Motorcars has been charged with operating a high-end used car dealership in Beverly Hills that defrauded 27 people out of nearly $2 million, the District Attorney’s office announced.

Randall E. Cohn, 47 (dob 10-22-56), pleaded not guilty to multiple counts of grand theft, forgery and tax evasion in case No.BA268027, said Deputy District Attorney Cynthia Nakao with the Major Fraud Division. Cohn, who was arrested by Beverly Hills police, and was being held in lieu of $1.1 million bail.

Cohn’s wife, Amy, (dob 12-21-59), was arrested in San Diego. She is charged in the same complaint with two counts of tax evasion. She was being held in lieu of $20,000 bail.

Cohn, who was convicted of similar charges by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Fort Worth, Texas, allegedly defrauded customers by receiving full payment for the exotic cars he sold, never delivering the cars to the victims, and instead subsequently reselling the cars to others. He also allegedly sold cars on consignment and never paid the owners.

A joint investigation by the D.A.’s Major Fraud Division and the Franchise Tax Board resulted in charges being filed on July 14. Investigators allege the couple’s company, Beverly Hills Auto Collection, failed to file state income tax returns for 2001-2002 and failed to report gross receipts of more than $18 million.

The Cohns also reportedly failed to file California personal income tax returns. Investigators calculate the Cohn’s personal income tax due at more than $1.7 million. All income is taxable, including income from illegal activities.

If convicted, Cohn faces up to 28 years in prison. His wife faces up to three years. No arraignment date has been set for her. He is scheduled to return to court on Aug. 4 in Division 30 for a bail motion and to set a preliminary hearing date.

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