Clovis car dealer inching towards prison for $1 million fraud

DMV investigators said they stopped counting Scott Radtke's victims somewhere after the 50th.

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Thursday, September 1, 2022
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Scott Radtke ripped off over $1 million from customers before admitting to bank fraud and identity theft. His case is inching towards a resolution.

CLOVIS, Calif. (KFSN) -- The long saga of a Clovis car broker who ripped off more than $1 million from customers is inching towards a resolution.

The deal seemed almost too perfect to Mark Bennett.

Clovis car broker Scott Radtke got him the exact vehicle he wanted and for about $2,000 less than Bennett could find it anywhere else.

"I went down and saw it and at that point, what I didn't know was that I already owned that vehicle," Bennett said.

Or he didn't own it at all.

Bennett made a down payment and took out a loan, but later discovered Radtke had pocketed all of it. He also forged documents to get a second loan in Bennett's name.

Months later, Bennett had made payments on one loan, but a repo man took the vehicle and Bennett was out about $10,000.

He eventually found out his was not a unique case in 2016 and 2017.

DMV investigators said they stopped counting Radtke's victims somewhere after the 50th, including Anne Scheid.

"What happened to a man who was the son of a preacher?" she said. "He obviously loved what he did, my first car. And something transpired in his heart and took him into a really dark place."

Scheid had bought a Prius through Radtke in 2007 and everything went smoothly.

She lost a few thousand dollars when she went back ten years later, and yet she counts herself as one of the lucky ones.

Other customers lost more money.

Some of them, like Bennett, wasted months trying to piece together what happened while watching their credit scores ruined.

"I just want people to recognize the damage," Bennett said. "And if they can help some of these people out, then that's wonderful."

Radtke reached a plea agreement with federal prosecutors, admitting to one count of bank fraud and one count of identity theft.

He's delayed his punishment twice, citing a family member's serious health issues.

His defense attorney tells Action News those problems coincided with Radtke "going off the rails."

Bennett and Scheid say they sympathize, but it doesn't change their opinion about Radtke's fraud.

"There's no excuse," Bennett said. "This isn't a heat of passion, just a mad moment. This is calculated. This is strategic. This is evil."

For now, Radtke is set for sentencing in federal court in November. The minimum punishment will be two years in prison and restitution of more than $1.3 million.