Man charged after allegedly committing fraud in high-end vehicle purchases

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas (KTRK) -- A 62-year-old man has been charged in Harris County after being accused of an elaborate scheme using fake identities to buy high-end vehicles totaling to $1.3 million.

Jorge Lamarche was charged after prosecutors said he fraudulently purchased 19 brand new, fully loaded vehicles from multiple dealerships. The vehicles include a nearly $90,000 Mercedes and a $125,000 Cadillac Escalade.

"It is a pretty sophisticated scheme of basically using other people's information to get credit to finance vehicles," said Tara Parker, with the Harris County District Attorney's Office.

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Prosecutors also said Lamarche wouldn't just steal anyone's identity. He found people with good enough credit to buy a six figure vehicle.

"Using his photo on IDs and then other people's identifying information. So names, birth dates, social security numbers, all of that stuff, addresses to make it seem like he was that person with his photograph," said Parker. "He would essentially get the vehicle and be able to drive off the lot with it before they figured out it was fraudulent."

The recent charge stems from crimes committed from January to March, but Lamarche could be good for others.

"Various other counties, possibly states, there's a lot going on with it. He's a very sophisticated criminal," said Parker.

Once HPD started figuring out what he was doing, they sent an alert to dealerships in the area. The alert included a photo of Lamarche, which is what ultimately led to catching him in the act.

"A dealership out of the county saw HPD's bulletin, recognized him and they were able to do a fraud in progress arrest," said Parker.

One of the dealerships he is accused of hitting is Tom Peacock Cadillac, according to court records. They show he fraudulently purchased an Escalade there, but the dealership was able to get the vehicle back.

The dealership said once they realized what had happened, they were able to track and recover it.

Dealerships weren't the only victims, as people also had their identity stolen in the process.

Parker said to make sure you stay vigilant.

"People need to be vigilant about their credit and stay on top of it when they notice fraud and report that as soon as possible," said Parker. "It's the quickest way to make it stop, and the quickest way for us to get justice as soon as possible."

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