Albany-- By days' end as many as 17 people could plead guilty to first degree forgery, conspiracy to commit fraud, and identity theft charges in connection with fraud against a Clayton County car dealership.
The defendants are accused of conspiring with the alleged mastermind of the plot, Kawazita Butler, to help unqualified people appear as good credit risks to obtain new cars from Southlake Mitsubishi. The trials are being held in Dougherty Superior Court because most of the defendants, and the ringleader, are local.
There are as many as 80 defendants, and the court has scheduled 21 trials a week over the next three weeks, for those who refused to plead guilty. Although the law provides for as much as 20 years per conviction, the District Attorney is only asking the judge for probation for each person.
Butler, who is in federal custody, is said to have set up the fraud at Southlake Mitsubishi with a salesman, Pasteur Patcamp.