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Clearwater car dealership employees face fraud charges

Clearwater car dealership employees face fraud charges
Posted March 7th, 2014 @ 12:41pm

CLEARWATER, Fla. ( - Three people were arrested Thursday on charges they embezzled about $400,000 from a Clearwater car dealership where they were employed.

After a two-month investigation, deputies charged Larry Dubose, 39, of Tarpon Springs; James Surrett, 45, of Orlando; and Patricia Lipka, 51, of Fort Myers.

Deputies say the suspects, employed by Lokey Automotive -which incluces Lokey Nissan and Lokey VW on 27759 U.S. 19 N. - were also associated with an off-site marketing company.

Between June 1, 2012 and Sept. 30, 2012, deputies say the suspects used their positions — Dubose as sales manager, Surrett as general manager and Lipka as a controller in the accounting department – to complete invoices to the third-party company.

The invoices were billed to Lokey Automotive for marketing and mailing services that were never rendered, and they instead received those proceeds, deputies say.

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