Tuesday, February 20 , 2018, 6:28 am | Fair 38º


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Montecito Motors Defendants May Take Plea Deal Next Week

Father and son owners are accused of scamming more than $1 million from 26 victims over several years

The father and son owners of embattled Montecito Motors in Santa Barbara are expected in court next week, and they may take a plea deal at that hearing.

Chester Lee Taylor
Chester Lee Taylor

Chet and Adam Taylor were charged with embezzlement, tax evasion and other crimes after an 18-month investigation led to allegations that $1 million had been scammed from 26 victims of the now-defunct company, which formerly operated on the 500 block of Chapala Street.

Senior Deputy District Attorney Brian Cota said Monday that he’s anticipating a plea will be entered by the Taylors on May 17 in Santa Barbara County Superior Court.

Because of the complexity of the case, the court has set aside three hours for that appearance.

The restitution issues surrounding the case are also complex, Cota said, and the sentencing and restitution hearing will be heard about a month after the Taylors’ expected May 17 appearance.

Details on what plea deal the Taylors may receive have not been released to the public yet, but are expected to come out during next week’s appearance.

Adam Taylor is charged with filing false tax returns and failing to file personal and corporate tax returns, and for failing to report more than $24.7 million in gross sales. Chet Taylor has been charged with filing false personal income tax returns and failing to report more than $400,000 from Montecito Motors.

Chester Adam Taylor
Chester Adam Taylor

Santa Barbara police officials say the pair concealed car sales and defrauded people who had consigned their cars for sale with the company. According to investigators, the Taylors are accused of waiting months or years before notifying owners their vehicles had been sold, while using the funds to pay personal expenses.

Jennifer Taylor and Sarah Taylor-Swing, Chet Taylor’s wife and daughter, are also facing charges and are expected in court next Thursday.

The father and son had their bail reduced from $1 million to $100,000 each earlier this year.

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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