A Rome man pleaded guilty to 221 charges including theft by conversion and forgery earlier this week, but the date for his sentencing has not been set yet.
According to court records:
Verlon Raymond Smith, along with his son, Brandon Keith Smith, were on the criminal trial calendar in Floyd County Superior Court for this week but Verlon Smith chose to enter a guilty plea on multiple charges without any form of plea deal.
No date has been scheduled for him to be sentenced. He was originally charged with two counts of violating the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, but those charges were dropped with his plea.
Brandon Smith, is still facing 223 criminal charges including forgery, filing false documents, false information on application for a title, theft by conversion and violations of the RICO Act.
In May 2015, Rome, Floyd County and Georgia Department of Revenue officials executed a search warrant at CarXpress, then located at 801 Shorter Ave. Officials confiscated business documents and later in October 2015 both men were arrested and criminally charged.
According to an indictment filed on March 29, 2019:
Between March 2013 and May 2015, both men who were employees and agents of The Smith Car Care Center and CarXpress, “forged documents and misrepresented facts regarding vehicle trades which did not occur to steal $107,012.83 in Total Ad Valorem Tax.”
The indictment stated the men conspired to change bills of sale and state MV-1, or title application, forms at their used car lot. They’d produce fake forms saying that they received a trade-in vehicle, which would greatly reduce the taxes owed to the government.
“In each of these transactions, the customer would either have no vehicle to trade to CarXpress but one was surreptitiously added on the bill of sale ...,” the indictment stated. They would then forge customers’ names on the altered bill of sale and turn in the documents to the tag office.
“These altered documents would show a trade-in where none existed in the actual transaction or a trade-in of greater value where an actual trade in occurred,” the indictment stated.