Theft Scheme Explains Charred Tesla On Frozen Vermont Lake

 Thursday, September 2, 2021

 Jalopnik

You may recall the story of a Tesla Model X that burned down on the frozen surface of Lake Champlain’s Shelburne Bay in Vermont in February of 2019.

The police report at the time stated that the owner drove the Model X onto the lake to fish, and the car struck a rock.

Sometime after that, it combusted (surprisingly, without falling through the ice). Nobody was hurt, and that’s really all anyone knew.

On Friday a Vermont man named Michael Gonzalez was indicted for stealing $607,000 worth of Teslas between September 2018 and January of this year, according to the District of Vermont U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Gonzalez allegedly acquired the cars by making down payments, then faking payment of the outstanding balance by pulling from phony accounts, or accounts with insufficient funds. He then supposedly sold, or tried to sell, four of the five Teslas in his possession.
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