BSO: Dealership duo defrauded company, customers out of nearly $650K

In what deputies characterized as a “systematic, organized scheme,” two employees of a North Lauderdale car dealership are accused of selling stolen vehicles and defrauding customers and the company out of hundreds of thousands of dollars over a nearly four-year span.

According to the Broward Sheriff’s Office, William Jason Tyler, 47, of Oakland Park and Walfredo Misas Cruz, 31, of Fort Lauderdale, worked at Z Motors on South State Road 7. The used car dealer employed Tyler as a finance manager and employed Misas Cruz as a sales manager, according to an arrest report.

Deputies said Tyler and Misas Cruz stole 24 vehicles, valued at nearly $350,000, and sold them themselves to wholesalers and various individuals.

The two are also accused of defrauding 166 Z Motors customers by directing customers to send down payments and car payments, intended for the dealership, to their personal Cash App, Zelle and Chime money transfer accounts.

Deputies said Tyler made nearly $170,000 through that method, while Misas Cruz made nearly $130,000. All told, the two are accused of defrauding $643,162 from the business and its customers from Nov. 2018 to July 2022.

The arrest report states the duo had “complete access to the internal accounting and vehicle tracking software of Z Motors,” allowing them to conceal the fraud for so long.

Deputies arrested the two last Wednesday. Both Tyler and Misas Cruz face 24 counts of grand theft auto, one count of first-degree grand theft and one count of obtaining property worth over $50,000 by fraud.

Tyler faces an additional charge of impersonating or using the identification of another without consent.

Deputies said their investigation continues.

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