Fla. Couple Receives Probation After Pleading to Skyline Fraud

Soho Imports Charged With Fraud for Fake Titles/Docs.

Edit 12/8/2023: Today, after two years of debates, Andres D. Diaz and Nicole G. Chiong consented to a plea bargain made by Florida prosecutors that stipulates five years of probation for each, in surrender for pleading guilty for one charge of a second-degree felony apiece. Moreover, the terms forbid the defendants from any occupation in titling automobiles ever again. This agreement happened just five days prior to a trial scheduled on the controversy. If you want to take a look at our initial story published on December 6th, keep scrolling down.

The hearing for a husband-and-wife pair charged with unlawfully securing multiple titles for Japanese automobiles will start on Monday, December 11th in Miami-Dade County, as judged by the circuit court last week at a pre-trial conference.

Lawyers representing Andres D. Diaz, aged 41, and Nicole G. Chiong, 35, have declared that they will proceed to try and reach a bargain with Florida prosecutors. Ideally the two sides would be able to agree on a consensus; however in the event that this is not feasible, the case will move forward as expected.

Through the course of the prior year, I documented my book, Cult of GT-R, which was unveiled in November and focuses on car buffs’ enthusiasm for the Nissan Skyline GT-R and other JDM rides. Diaz and Chiong are proprietors of two enterprises known as Soho Imports and J-Spec Garage that have a credential of legalizing and peddling scarce Japanese sports cars, such as 1998-2003 Honda Civic Type R, 1993-2002 Toyota Supra, and 1989-2002 Nissan Skyline GT-R.

Attaining legal importation and federalization of such motorized autos can be complicated due to the implementation of the Imported Vehicle Safety Compliance Act in 1988, more frequently known as the “25-year rule.” This legislation stipulates that with few exceptions, any car which was initially manufactured for overseas sales is not allowable to be moved into America and approved for road operation until it has arrived at the age of 25 years.

Mainly thanks to Soho Imports, Diaz and Chiong are said to have gained possession of and registered several hundred Japanese-market cars that they later marketed to clients in the Miami area as well as other places. Prosecutors allege that their customers were deceived since they bought the cars under the false assumption that they had been federalized and allowed for use on the roads in the US.

Prosecutors assert that Diaz and Chiong had carried out an extensive operation to counterfeit vehicle titles and registration, creating bogus papers and imitating federal official signatures whilst the vehicles had illicitly been imported into the nation.

At the October hearing, legal counsels of defense proclaimed their clients had nothing to do with the transference of vehicles from Japan, which was executed by an independent company.

The prosecution asserts that Diaz and Chiong deliberately designed a strategy to dodge the federal and state enrollment system. According to papers obtained from public record access, officers claimed the pair acquired legitimate Florida documents by “employing a fresh method” of duping.

Rather than reveal the automobiles were brought into the United States, Diaz and Chiong reportedly furnished paperwork asserting that the cars were already in the U.S. lawfully and were moving from Vermont to Florida across state boundaries. This endeavor sought to evade a compulsory physical inspection necessity for labeling imported motor vehicles coming from abroad.

In support of their assertion, Diaz and Chiong allegedly produced counterfeit records that were purportedly from Vermont, then supposedly forged the autographs of both an area law enforcement official and a member of the Florida Motor Vehicle Field Operations. Law enforcement officials were made aware of the situation when it became known that the same signatures from the police officer and FMVFO staff were utilized to endorse the titles for all 348 cars in question, as stated in the arrest affidavit.

A fabrication of documents had a certification stamp which is available from an FMVFO regional bureau. During a raid on the couple’s domicile in early 2022, officials allegedly discovered a duplicate of that same imprint inside the home.

An assembly of impressive Japanese performance vehicles, many from the 90s, are encompassed in the inquiry. Of them, 27 Toyota Supras, 28 Honda Civics as well as 31 both Honda and Acura Integras can be found. Most noticeably however is the Nissan Skyline, of which there are an absolute of 88– 46 of those being the almighty Skyline GT-R types.

For virtually twelve months, the attorneys on both sides of the legal battle have continuously expressed a desire to come to an understanding outside of court. Though, restitution obligations to all aggrieved parties need to be fulfilled before any pact can be endorsed. This has been made more complex by the vast area this matter examines, which includes hundreds of vehicles as well as potential repayment requests, reported counsels.

In July, Scott Kotler – a lawyer for Chiong – highlighted in the courtroom that it was challenging to accurately determine how many individuals were affected, alongside the value of each car. According to the authorities at the time of his capture, the autos in question would have their licenses and registrations annulled, not being able to be registered again in any state; thus forcing the concerned owners to either hand over or export these vehicles.

If found guilty, both Diaz and Chiong would incur severe sentences. Separate offenses of deception and falsification are classified as felonies, and consists of multiple counts of plotting and motor vehicle theft.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *