Local auto exec. accused of embezzlement in WI

GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (WOOD) — The chief operating officer of the Preferred Automotive group in West Michigan is accused of embezzling millions of dollars from his former employer in Wisconsin and using some of the money to pay for sexual relationships.

Allen Foster, 53, faces 20 fraud-related counts detailed in an indictment filed Oct. 11 in the United States District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin.

The criminal case against Foster involves $178,525, but a lawsuit filed against him by Smart Motors Inc. in Wisconsin reportedly accuses him of taking some $3 million over the course of 10 years.

The indictment alleges the crimes occurred between May 2004 and May 2016. Authorities say Foster set up a sham business called Creative Marketing Solutions, which they say was “deceptively similar” to the name of an actual vendor Smart Motors used for advertising called Creative Marketing Specialists.

“On or about May 11, 2004, FOSTER began causing Smart Motors, Inc. to issue checks payable to Creative Marketing Solutions. FOSTER misrepresented to employees and agents of Smart Motors, Inc. that the checks were payment for direct mail or other advertising related costs,” the federal indictment reads. “In fact, Creative Marketing Solutions was a fictitious company controlled by FOSTER that conducted no marketing activity or any other business on behalf of Smart Motors, Inc.”

The allegations go on to accuse Foster of using the money for personal purposes and to engage in sexual contact with women met on a so-called ‘sugar daddy’ website.

“FOSTER’s romantic and sexual “arrangements” with multiple women FOSTER met through the website http://www.seekingarrangement.com in which FOSTER paid the women thousands of dollars in cash and checks” were allegedly funded by the scheme, the records show.

Reached at his office inside of a Preferred Auto used car dealership in Grand Haven, Foster declined to comment.

“I can’t comment,” he said after introducing himself to a 24 Hour News 8 reporter. “Thank you for the opportunity.”

Officials with Preferred Automotive Collection did not respond to messages left in person and over the phone by close of business Tuesday.