Two former salesmen for FCA (now Stellantis) have found themselves in hot water over giving people employee discounts. Automotive News reports that the two salespeople have been indicted on charges stemming from using discounts meant for FCA/Stellantis employees on unqualified buyers — and we’ve talked about this situation before.
According to a federal affidavit, The grift started with Apollon Nimo. Nimo was a salesperson at Parkway Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram in Clinton Township, MI. From January 2014 until April 2021, Nimo used employee discount codes on thousands of customers who weren’t FCA/Stellantis employees.
Called Employee Purchase Control Numbers, Nimo’s customers would claim that they were related to a company employee in some way; a brother-in-law or sister for example. This discount wasn’t all that great either, only amounting to just five percent off the vehicle’s price. What’s worse is that Nimo was seemingly running a black market for selling these codes, using private Facebook groups to sell them to people.
But Nimo was riding high. The codes brought in the customers and at times, Nimo was the number one salesperson for the company in the whole country. Sometimes he was selling 250 cars a month, which if you’re in the know, is more than what an entire sales team at some dealerships can do.
On top of the commissions, he was getting a sales bonus. Authorities say he received over $700,000 in bonuses between 2010 and 2019. Ultimately, authorities say he defrauded the company out of $8.7 million.
Nimo brought in someone else on his grift in 2016, one Farrah Bottris Bahoo. Nimo and Bahoo worked together to expand the fraud with, according to authorities, “others known and unknown to the grand jury.”
It wouldn’t last long, though. FCA was tipped off in late 2019 after a number of employees started complaining that their discount codes were being used without their knowledge. Not long after, FCA contacted authorities, giving them a list of some 268 employees and their codes that had been used without those employees’ knowledge. Every single one had a link to a sale Nimo had made.
Now, Nimo and Bahoo have pled not guilty to the charges. A lawyer for Nimo claims that what was going on was common knowledge and that FCA/Stellantis encouraged the behavior.
“It is well known in the industry that some automaker employees, including Stellantis employees, sell their discount numbers. Some of these employees even count on this source of income. FCA knew this. Stellantis knows it. No one has stopped it because it increases sales,” he said.