Thursday, June 21 , 2018, 3:10 pm | Partly Cloudy 68º

 
 
 
 

Local News

Defendants in Montecito Motors Case Plead Not Guilty

Chet Taylor, his wife, his son and his daughter all face charges of embezzlement and tax evasion related to their now-closed car consignment business

Chester Adam Taylor
Chester Adam Taylor

Four defendants charged with 58 felony counts, including embezzlement and tax evasion related to their now-closed business, Montecito Motors, appeared in court Thursday and pleaded not guilty.

An 18-month investigation uncovered more than $1 million allegedly scammed from 26 victims of the business, and the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office alleges that the father-son owners of Montecito Motors are behind the missing money.

Chet and Adam Taylor appeared in court Thursday, and are currently in custody. Their bail has been set at $1 million.

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. Scroll down to read the entire complaint against the Taylors.

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 and Sarah Taylor-Swing, Chet Taylor’s wife and daughter, are also facing charges but appeared in court out of custody Thursday.

Chester Lee Taylor
Chester Lee Taylor

Senior Deputy District Attorney Brian Cota, who is prosecuting the case, said a bail hearing will be held Tuesday to decide whether the $1 million bail will stand for Chet and Adam Taylor. Cota said he would be opposing any reduction of the bail, but couldn’t discuss why before the hearing.

All four are scheduled to return to court Jan. 13 to set a date for their preliminary hearing.

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.

Montecito Motors Compl

 

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