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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Cincinnati Area GM Dealer McCluskey Chevrolet Says Hit By $6 Million Payroll Scam: Seeks 'Valuable' Info From Kentucky Source

Motor Tends Saw Chevrolet Sales On Wide Open Throttle
CINCINNATI (TDB) -- McCluskey Chevrolet Inc. styles itself as the top total volume Chevy sales operation in Ohio.  And this has been a very good year for Chevy, perhaps the best in the bowtie-brand's 100 year history (it hit the century mark in 2011).  But the Cincinnati area auto dealership isn't exactly in full celebration mode.  McCluskey claims it was victimized by a $6 million embezzlement scheme between 2002 and September 2011.  Some of those years included a rough patch for GM with bankruptcy and a government takeover -- which made a tough environment for its dealers.  McCluskey survived, but says a former payroll clerk misappropriated assets and made "extra payments to certain employees."  McCluskey's lawyers have characterized the group as co-conspirators who kicked back some of their extra pay.  The dealership filed a lawsuit last October in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court, and now is seeking permission to take a deposition from an ex-employee who lives in Louisville.  The company says in a court filing:  "The information sought during the deposition of . . . will be used to determine the extent and nature of this wrongdoing."

Karen Thompson, the former payroll clerk McCluskey claims was at the heart of the scheme, is represented by defense lawyer Herb Haas.  He has filed an answer denying the auto dealership's allegations against his client.  Haas contends the case should be dismissed.  In its complaint, McCluskey Chevrolet contends false information was entered into its payroll system:

"To cover up her fraud, Thompson generated fraudulent spreadsheets for review by McCluskey executives, concealing the fraudulent paychecks and inducing McCluskey executives to authorize the concealed payments.  Thompson also destroyed documents and hand-delivered the fraudulently issued paychecks to her Co-Conspirators in order to conceal her fraud.  In September 2011, McCluskey discovered Thomspon's conduct, and on September 9, 2011, Thompson was terminated from employment.  On September 16, 2011, McCluskey representatives confronted Ms. Thompson about the improper payments.  Thompson admitted she stole the money  . . . When asked to return the money, Thompson claimed she no longer had the money.  In conjunction with this complaint, McCluskey is applying for attachment of Ms. Thompson's property, comprised of real estate, vehicles, bank accounts, and other personal property."

McCluskey Chevrolet Inc. is represented by attorneys Eric S. Clark and Heather M. Muzumdar of Thompson Hine LLP.  They are seeking a jury trial.  The case is McCluskey Chevrolet Inc. vs. Karen Thomspon, No.A 1107956, Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas. It has been assigned to Judge Ted Winkler.  The next action scheduled is a March report on the status of the litigation.


  1. No prosecution?

  2. Sad to see they are suing their own people. Any idea where the money went if really embezzled. Casino?

  3. Cincinnati Liberal LawyerDecember 31, 2011 10:02 AM

    Read above that Herb Haas is on the case. Excellent attorney. Assumed he was primarily a criminal defense practitioner. Mostly known for that work. No bargain bin public defender. He is top shelf. A natty dresser also.

    1. "bargain bin public defender"? How about not adding to the stereotype that public defenders are inept and inexperienced. Most public defenders are hard working, experienced attorneys who handle an daunting caseload day in and day out for way less pay than they actually deserve.

  4. Reading police involved? McClus Chev it's main offices in Reading. Would guess they could report money loss to Reading police dept I have not heard anything on teevee. Rob Braun laps up crime mews. Strange all quiet when minor fender benders and car crashes get major teevee news play. No film at 11?

  5. Oh please...Keith The Theif McCluskey regularly fleeces his sales force and his hourly employess for whatever he can get. For example, he was charging $5.98 a week for "computer and uniform" usage. The problem is, that his sales force does not receive uniforms and a fee for mandatory computer use? This continued until he fired Karen..then promptly quit chargining it stating "it was a mistake" and "we just dont know that fee got in there."

    His commissioned sales force supposedly has a $2,000 deductable in the event they are involved in a collision. FYI: HE charges different "deductables" for different employess. He does this and is SELF INSURED! God forbid, an employee is asked to move a car and has a fender bender! He gets $2000 every time!

    I've watched that disorganized, over priced mess of a dealership RUIN both customer and employee's lives for years.

    And his customers??? They are the ones hit the hardest! Keith preys on the lowest income segment of society. He charges inexorbatant prices..and believe me..That place DOES charge different prices for different levels of credit!! He sells cars that are supposedly "reconditioned" but are, in my vast experience, the POOREST, cheapest piles of gm dung available. And when they break down??? He has 2 words for you: AS and IS...Or tries to charge folks so much for those vehicles that they can't afford to fix them and make their $490 a month payment on their 2006 Chevy.

    He is in bed with his main bank, Credit Acceptance Corporation. In fact, he was the CEO of the bank for several years. Keith The Theif McCluskey gets a large portion of the 29.9% interest rate the customers are charged. His prices are the absolute highest in the area, while his vehicles are substandard at best.

    EXACTLY how is it that his office manager, GINA OWENS, was bamboozeled into signing away $6 MILLION over the course of years? Yeah right. Most likely Gina Owens is either THE sole thief or has was involved in some way. Interesting, even though $6 Million was stolen, Gina still works there. Did keith The Theif steal his own money out of greed, and try to pin it on poor KT Thompson?Reader..if someone in your department pulled the wool over your eyes for years and stole $6 MILLION, would YOU expect to be fired?

    {RESENT AND FORMER EMPLOYEES: Post your story about Keith The Theif McCluskey here. dont you think its about time he gets called out on some of his illegal and/or unethical business practices?

  6. What an eye-opener this blog is! I was going on my way looking for houses for rent in Cincinnati Ohio as I'm still musing over taking the job offer in a dealership there for that good ole Chevy but I don't think I would like to be under the wings of a guy, errr, a management, with that background though.