A massive scandal to the tune of $150 million and a 240-plus car collection has become the biggest news out of Elkhart, Indiana in recent history. The perpetrator, 70-year-old Najeeb Khan earned a jail sentence of slightly over 97 months last week after pleading guilty to bank fraud and attempted tax evasion.
Khan owned a payroll company in Elkhart called Interlogic Outsourcing, Inc. He used his company as a front for his scheme to float checks and wire transfers in amounts most have never seen, federal officials said. With a steady cash flow, he amassed a warehouse of classic cars that included a 1952 Ferrari 225 S Berlinetta by Vignale that finished fourth overall at the 1952 Monaco Grand Prix, a one-of-15 1953 Fiat 8V Supersonic by Ghia, a 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing that was originally owned by Scuderia Ferrari driver Umberto Maglioli, a 1956 Jaguar XK 140 MC Roadster, and more.
“This defendant essentially gave himself a $150,000,000 loan, spent money however he wanted on himself and his business, then defaulted, all without ever getting the banks’ approval to give him that loan,” U.S. attorney Rebecca C. Lutzko said in a statement. “These types of financial crimes undermine the well-being of our financial institutions and harm our entire community. This office will vigilantly investigate and prosecute persons who engage in such conduct to protect and prevent harm to financial institutions locally and nationwide.”
Elkhart, Indiana is a small city of about 50,000 or so. Located two towns away from Notre Dame football, Elkhart has been the RV capital of the world for decades and represents 36 billion dollars of economic impact for Indiana. (It’s also, coincidentally, my hometown.)
In October 2020, RM Sotheby’s auctioned off the lot in Elkhart on behalf of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court. The event attracted 2,500 bidders from 53 countries and generated a sum of nearly $44.4 million. It was undoubtedly the hottest car event in the area since the entire Hudson Museum collection (including the famed 1952 Hudson Hornet piloted by NASCAR legend Herb Thomas) was auctioned in 2018.
U.S. District Judge Pamela Barker ordered Khan to pay $121 million in restitution to KeyBank, $27 million to his former defrauded clients, and $9.8 million to the IRS for five years of unpaid taxes. When he gets out of prison, Khan will begin three years of supervised release, car-free.
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