A Philadelphia used car salesman has been charged with fraud after allegedly taking more than $2.5 million from customers who bought wheelchair accessible vehicles he failed to deliver.
Edward Scott Rock, 47, was arrested and charged by indictment with mail and wire fraud for allegedly conducting a scheme in which he accepted payment for, but failed to deliver, automobiles to approximately 120 purchasers, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania announced Thursday.
According to the indictment, between 2019 and 2023, Rock allegedly bought used vehicles from auto auctions and then advertised them for sale online. The “majority” of vehicles listed by Rock were equipped for wheelchair users and other people with disabilities.
In total, Rock is accused of defrauding approximately 120 victims across 36 states, about two-thirds of whom were people with physical or mobility disabilities, people over age 65, or business that provide transportation for the disabled or elderly. Total losses for defrauded customers amounted to more than $2.5 million.
According to the indictment, Rock on several occasions allegedly sold the same vehicle to multiple buyers.
“In one instance, Rock agreed to sell a particular vehicle — a wheelchair-accessible 2017 Ford T150 van — to 13 different buyers over an 11-month period between February 2022 and January 2023,” the U.S. attorney’s office said. “Despite accepting 13 payments from 13 different buyers and collecting over $260,000 all for the same vehicle, Rock only delivered the vehicle to one buyer (albeit without proper title).”
If convicted, Rock faces up to 170 years in prison and $2.75 million in fines, restitution, and forfeiture.
The cost of a used wheelchair-accessible vehicle in the United States can vary significantly based on several factors, including the make and model of the vehicle, the age and mileage, the type and extent of the accessibility modifications, and the condition of the vehicle.
Used wheelchair-accessible vehicles can range anywhere from around $10,000 to $50,000. Entry-level, older models with higher mileage may be available at the lower end of that spectrum, while newer, low-mileage vehicles with advanced features like in-floor ramps, kneeling systems, or other high-end modifications can be at the higher end.