A salesperson at Parkway Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram in Michigan has cost Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (now Stellantis) a whopping $8.7 million since 2014. According to prosecutors, Apollon Nimo, 34, helped close thousands of deals by unlawfully using discount codes reserved for relatives of FCA employees.
At times, Nimo was selling more cars with family discounts than any FCA salesperson nationwide, Automotive News reports. In most cases, the transactions were given a five per cent ‘Employee Purchase Control Number’ discount code which had the customer down as the brother-in-law or sister-in-law of an FCA employee.
Up until recently, this worked out very well for Nimo. On top of his salary and bonuses from the dealership, he benefited from an additional $700,000 in hand-outs from FCA itself. Unfortunately for Nimo, many of the FCA workers whose codes he was using, which were usually bought through Facebook groups, noticed and complained.
Special Agent Joseph Kunnummyalil of Homeland Security Investigations was sent 268 codes flagged for unauthorised use from February 2016 to June 2018. Every single one was connected to Nimo, who was arrested last Friday. He appeared in court and was released on bail ahead of a preliminary examination on 21 May. He faces up to 20 years in prison.
Nimo’s sales figures had long been suspiciously high. He’d outsell entire sales forces at some dealers, and in January this year alone, he managed to shift some 250 vehicles.
In a statement, FCA US said:
“FCA US is committed to preserving the integrity of our employee purchase programs and is cooperating with the U.S. Attorney’s Office. We note that dealers are independent businesses and are solely responsible for their conduct and operations. As the matter is ongoing, we cannot discuss it further at this time.”