PHOENIX, AZ (August 16, 2013) – A Valley businessman who sold vehicles for customers but pocketed the money for himself will go to prison for 3.25 years followed by seven years of supervised probation. Stanley Dean Torgerson (D.O.B. 1/7/1946) was accused of bilking more than fifty people across the country out of sale proceeds from cars he had agreed to sell on their behalf through his Gilbert-based business, International Classic Auctions. In June, 2013, Torgerson waived his right to a trial and agreed to plead guilty to three counts of Fraudulent Schemes and Artifices and one count of Theft. Under the terms of the sentence handed down today by the Honorable Margaret R. Mahoney, Torgerson is also required to pay up to $1.5 million in restitution to his victims.
“By trading on the trust of others, this Defendant caused significant and real financial harm to multiple victims in and beyond Maricopa County,” said Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery. “Today’s sentence secures restitution for the victims while requiring a period of incarceration that should serve as notice that we take these crimes seriously,” he added.
International Classic Auctions has been in business since 1989. At the end of 2009, Torgerson allegedly began pocketing sale proceeds from cars he sold for customers, ignoring their phone calls, emails and in-person attempts to collect their money. In May, 2011, a Maricopa County Grand Jury indicted Torgerson on 101 counts alleging Fraud, Theft and Illegal Control of an Enterprise.
Torgerson blamed the customer losses on employee embezzlement. An analysis of business records showed he actually spent the sale proceeds on family members, personal expenses and other businesses. A hearing to determine his restitution payments to victims is scheduled for October 18, 2013.