An Employee Allegedly Scammed His Own Dealership Out Of $1.3 Million
Image: Bruce Bennett (Getty Images)
A dealership employee doing something shitty? I’m shocked. NJ.com reports that a dealer employee at a New Jersey Nissan dealer scammed his employer out of over a million dollars by running a scam that involved his own position.
Thirty-seven-year-old Martin D’Amato worked in digital advertising for Pine Belt Nissan of Toms River. His position allowed him the power to hire both advertising and marketing companies as he saw fit for the dealership’s advertising. That power enabled his scam.
D’Amato’s alleged grift was rather blatant. Reports say the scam began when he created multiple shell advertising LLCs that he personally had control over. He would in turn “hire” these companies to do ad and marketing work for the dealership. He would then charge the “services” rendered by these companies using to the dealer’s corporate credit card. Of course, none of these services were rendered because the companies didn’t exist.
Screenshot: Ocean County Prosecutors Office
To cover his tracks, authorities said D’Amato used online billing services to try and hide that he was the owner of the shell companies. He would then transfer the funds charged from the dealership to accounts he controlled. In total he stole some $1.3 million. The dealership discovered D’Amato’s scam after an internal audit of its credit card billings. The dealership then contacted authorities and the Ocean County Prosecutors’ office in October 2021. He was arrested on September 19th and charged with money laundering and theft.