An Ontario, Canada, RV dealer was sentenced to three years in prison after pleading guilty to 190 charges of fraud for duping hundreds of victims across the province out of the sale of their motorhomes.
Donald Earle, 58, admitted he pilfered more than $2 million between 2001 to 2005 from customers who left their motorhomes and trailers to be sold on consignment at Barrie RV.
As reported by the Barrie Examiner, testimony showed that many of the victims were elderly and had their life savings wrapped up in motorhomes worth up to $100,000. They would shake hands with an overly-friendly Earle, sign the papers, then leave their RV on his lot, never to see it again – or the money they were owed.
Many victims were trying to sell their RVs because of illness and they were unable to keep up the payments. Earle would turn around and sell the unit to another elderly couple, keep the money, and never tell the new buyers that a lien still existed.
Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council official Laura Halbert said many of the victims will receive up to $14,000 in compensation.