Federal authorities have charged a man in Chattanooga Federal Court with promising to restore and sell classic and rare Volkswagen vehicles without ever doing the work or returning money to his customers.
John Bragg II, also known as John Goode, is charged with wire fraud.
The indictment says beginning about September 2021 he "devised a scheme to defraud, and to obtain money and property by means of false and fraudulent pretenses, representations, and promises, to wit: the defendant made fraudulent promises and representations inducing victims to provide him funds for the purported restoration and sale of certain classic Volkswagen automobiles. Despite accepting his victims' money and offering false promises about the status of the parties' agreements, the defendant failed to perform the promised services and retained his victims' funds."
The business -known as "JB Bugs Trick Truck N Rod" - maintained operations in various locations, including the Southern District of lndiana and the Eastern District of Tennessee, it was stated.
Prosecutors said Bragg "advertised and held himself and his business out to be specialists in Volkswagen restoration, including by way of participation in online communities of Volkswagen enthusiasts and appearances at automobile conventions. Using that presence, the defendant became acquainted with his victims and solicited funds to purchase, restore, and sell certain automobiles.
"Based on false representations, the defendant secured his victims' willingness to send him money, and he sent wire communications inducing and effecting the transfer of those funds from his victims."
It says, "After the defendant fraudulently obtained his victims' funds, he continued to communicate with them, claiming to be performing the services to which they had agreed. Those communications were false. The defendant neither performed the services he promised to his victims nor returned the funds he fraudulently obtained from them."