Las Vegas Sun

May 24, 2022

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Metro: Manager stole $255K in cash from car dealership

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Michael Sims

A Henderson man was arrested Thursday on suspicion of stealing more than $255,000 from the Las Vegas car dealership he was employed at, according to Metro Police.

Michael Sims, 51, was arrested and remains at the Clark County Detention Center as of Friday afternoon on one count of theft greater than $100,000, jail records show. He was taken into custody after police made contact with him at St. Rose Dominican Hospital-Siena following a car crash he was involved in, according to his arrest report.

Sims’ former manager at CardinaleWay Acura reported to authorites in March 2021 that Sims had stolen approximately $255,618.52 by taking cash down payments, writing receipts out of a receipt book and keeping the cash, according to his arrest warrant.

On March 17, 2021, Sims was contacted by the dealership’s general manager regarding discrepancies for deals. Sims admitted to the manager that “he stole the money because he has a gambling problem,” police said in the warrant.

Sims informed the manager of 24 car sales that he stole money from, costing the dealership $255,618.52 in lost cash payments, DMV registration fees and vehicles that had to be bought back as financing was never obtained, so that the company — rather than the victims — would take the loss, police said.

Sims was subsequently terminated, the manager told police.

In an internal audit, one manager found that Sims was taking cash payments from customers and writing a receipt using a receipt book other than his own. It was later found that customers had receipts for different amounts and for different vehicles, police said.

Management also found that Sims took $3,475 in funds, given to sales managers to hand out to employees for various events, police said.

Detectives tried on several occasions to contact Sims throughout 2021, but were unsuccessful, according to the warrant. A records check yielded no results for banks associated with Sims, so police were unable to see if Sims had deposited the money anywhere, police said.

Detectives learned that Sims had played about $35,000 in slot and video poker machines at a local bar from December 2020 through February 2021, police said. No other records of gambling losses were mentioned in the warrant.

Sims is scheduled to appear in a return hearing Thursday, according to Clark County Justice Court records.