SAN FRANCISCO — A Bay Area man who operated a luxury car dealer has been charged in federal court with two felonies for allegedly cheating consignment sellers and evading payroll taxes, court records show.
Walter Dawydiak was charged in December with mail fraud, which carries a 20-year maximum prison sentence, and tax evasion, which is punishable by up to five years in prison. An early court appearance has been set for Jan. 27. The mail fraud charge alleges Dawydiak bilked consignment sellers from January 2014 to September 2019, court records show.
Dawydiak’s attorney, Ed Swanson, said in an email to this newspaper that he expects Dawydiak to plead guilty, and that he “promptly and completely accepted responsibility for his actions.”
“(Dawydiak) also implemented new processes at the company in September 2019 to ensure client always receive a detailed breakdown on expenses and what they are owed on a sale,” Swanson said. “He is extremely remorseful, and has been working closely with the prosecutors and agents to repay clients who lost money because of his conduct as well as to make full payment to IRS for underreporting overtime payroll tax.”
Dawydiak owns Dawydiak Cars, a Corte Madera luxury car dealership that “operated primarily as a high-end luxury automobile dealership in San Francisco,” according to the charging documents. The dealership largely relied on consignment sales for car owners looking to sell, and that the prices would be pre-negotiated. As part of the alleged scheme, prosecutors say Dawydiak would lie to the sellers about what the cars sold for and pocket the difference.
It is also alleged that Dawydiak tried to illegally reduce his payroll taxes by “willfully concealing the overtime payment of wages, including by making the payments in cash, keeping a separate set of records for these wages,” and falsifying tax records, the charging document says.
Today, the business’ website boasts that clients who sell their cars through Dawydiak Cars “will get much more” compared to selling on their own.
“We discuss pricing and you set the starting price and have complete control over the price you accept,” the website says.