FRESNO, Calif. — A Fresno business owner was arraigned today for a scheme to defraud the customers of his classic car business, U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced.
On July 23, a federal grand jury returned a 22-count indictment against Jeffrey Scott Hedges, 48, currently residing in Irvine, charging him with wire fraud and money laundering.
According to court documents, Hedges owned and operated West Coast Chassis LLC. Between November 2015 and January 2019, Hedges advertised his business online as one dedicated to the restoration of classic cars likes Corvettes, Camaros, and others. However, instead of providing the promised chassis and modifications to the vehicle frames that his customers sent him, Hedges kept the money and failed to provide the promised product. Hedges allegedly defrauded his customers out of more than $600,000.
Anyone who has information related to this investigation or who believes they may be a victim can contact the FBI at 916-746-7000.
This case is the product of an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Laura D. Withers is prosecuting the case.
If convicted, Hedges faces a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Any sentence, however, would be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables. The charges are only allegations; the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.