Shiraaz Sookralli, the vice president of marketing for the largest Porsche dealership in the United States, and his wife Devika Budhram disappeared after allegedly fleeing with $ 2.5 million in deposits
The vice president of marketing for the largest Porsche dealership in the United States disappeared without a trace, and $ 2.5 million in deposits from buyers.
Shiraaz Sookralli and his wife have disappeared after it was discovered that he cheated at least 24 people, who paid deposits for the exclusive 911 GT3 and GT3 RS models.
The buyers trusted Sookralli because they worked for Champion Porsche, the country's largest dealership for the luxury sports car.
But since then it has been revealed that Sookralli allegedly set up a fictitious company, wiring its deposits in a secret bank account that was then emptied.
Now Champion Porsche is suing Sookralli and claims he was not aware of what his vice president of marketing was doing behind the scenes.
Sookralli has worked at the Florida dealership for more than a decade, putting his foot on the door as a Champion salesman.
Buyers delivered large deposits to Sookralli, making sure they caught one of the ultra-rare limited edition Porsche cars thrown at the dealership each year.
Buyers trusted Sookralli because he worked for Champion Porsche, the most important dealer for the luxury sports car in the country (pictured)
Or, they thought.
At some point, Sookralli allegedly created a fictitious company and buyers sent their deposits to & # 39; Champion Autosport & # 39; instead of the concessionaire.
With Champion in the name, and because of Sookralli's title with the company, dealers felt safe delivering their money.
But the Buyer Deposit Agreements that Sookrali was creating were really fake, and the orders for those exclusive Porsches were never made.
The deposits allegedly went directly to a Bank of America account on behalf of Autosport, before being transferred through to the personal accounts of Sookrali and his wife.
Tony Sciple, general manager of Champion, said Sookrali admitted to having made 24 transactions in his plan to defraud the dealership and its consumers.
But since then it has been revealed that Sookralli allegedly set up a fictitious company, wiring its deposits in a secret bank account that then emptied
"The total amount of funds Sookrali admitted to receive is $ 2,560,198," he added.
Sciple said Champion only became aware of Sookrali's fraud this week after he sent an email to the company and confessed. He still has no idea where Sookrali could be.
"We have not heard from him since we tried to serve him and his wife at his residence," Roy Diaz, the lawyer representing Champion, told Jalopnik.
Many find it hard to believe that Champion completely ignored Shiraaz's plan, pointing to a lawsuit filed against both earlier this year.
M & L Luxury Cars sued Sookralli and Champion after they reached an agreement with the vice president in 2016 to buy two Porsche 911R of $ 500,000.
One of the cars was purchased directly through Champion, while the other was from Rampage Motors, another shell from Sookralli.
The first car was never delivered and Champion finally agreed to pay $ 150,000 of the $ 350,000 deposit immediately and pay the rest over time.
Champion said Sookralli admitted cheating 24 people to give him deposits for the exclusive Porsche 911 GT3 models (pictured) and GT3 RS
I still had to receive the rest of the payments from Champion, the luxury car company that is alleged in the lawsuit.
M & L also stated that the second car it bought, a white 911R of $ 560,200, was marked significantly above the suggested retail price of $ 350,000.
Sookralli agreed to pay some of the costs, but all his checks to M & L recovered. Finally, the companies decided and agreed to continue working together.
Champion was also aware of Sookralli's personal money problems.
American Express filed a $ 176,000 judgment against him and a judge ordered that he garnish 25 percent of his salary to help pay off his credit card debt.
Champion released a statement stating that he only heard about Sookralli's plan last week
Sookralli was also struggling to pay child support for her 10 children, according to The Drive.
It is not yet known if the 24 buyers will receive their deposits back. The Broward County Sheriff's Office is also investigating.
Porsche Cars North America has also realized what it called an "unfortunate situation".
"Champion Porsche has assured us that it will help Porsche buyers who may have been affected and is asking those customers to provide their information to Champion's legal advisors," he said in a statement.