Tesla Model X Frozen Lake Mystery Solved, And The Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction

Back in 2019, a photo of a lit Tesla Model X in the middle of a frozen lake in Vermont resulted in a lot of electric vehicle enthusiasts scratching their heads in confusion. Very few details were made public, although police then noted that the owner of the vehicle drove the Model X to the lake, where it is believed to have hit a rock and caught fire.

The incident was very strange, partly because the car completely burned down and fell into the frozen lake without melting the ice. Little was also available about the owner of the vehicle, although it was reported that no one was injured in the incident. Recently, the mysteries surrounding this peculiar Model X fire were explained, and by the Justice Department, no less. Needless to say, the truth in the fire of this particular Model X was different from fiction.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Vermont, the Model X was actually part of a much wider scandal executed by 32-year-old Michael A. Gonzalez of Colchester, Vermont. In the scandal, Gonzalez acquired Tesla by taking advantage of a process the company followed that allowed him to take delivery of vehicles before his bank transfer was fully approved.

according to a report of Seven DaysGonzalez’s breakthrough came in September 2018, when he reserved a Tesla Model 3 priced at $58,200. To acquire the vehicle, the scammers made a $2,500 downpayment to Tesla and set up an automated payment plan to draft monthly payments for the vehicle. Tesla delivered the Model 3, and a few days later, Gonzalez’s fund transfer was denied by the bank. The vehicle was taken to a used car dealership around December 2018, where Gonzalez sold it for $42,500.

Fresh off his successful scandal, Gonzalez decided to go next for a bigger prize: a Tesla Model X. Using that same playbook, he was able to acquire the Model X for $144,200. Tesla delivered the vehicle, and weeks later, Gonzalez was able to sell the all-electric SUV through Craigslist for $90,000.

According to investigators, the Model X that ended up on a frozen lake was actually the third Tesla in Gonzalez’s plan. It was a $152,663 vehicle, the most expensive vehicle the scammer has ever owned. But while he was able to take the car to Tampa, Tesla did not provide Gonzalez with the ownership paperwork required to register or resell the car. In response, Gonzalez reportedly took the car to a frozen section of Shelburne Bay, where it was later found in flames.

The freshly minded Gonzalez actually filed an insurance claim for damages to the Model X, but he never showed up for a required exam under oath, where he was required to bring a certificate of ownership of the electric vehicle. Ultimately the claim was rejected.

Not to be disappointed, Gonzalez went for a fourth Tesla in March 2019, another Model X for $136,710. This time, he used the other person’s driving license and another address. Tesla delivered the vehicle, and it was registered with the Vermont DMV. Gonzalez then transferred the Model X title under his own name, claiming that he had achieved it through “even business” with the $8,200 2013 Kia Optima. The Model X was sold on eBay for $99,400.

Unfortunately for Gonzalez, his streak ended when he started his scandal for the fifth time in July 2019. Tesla eventually hired a repossession company, and the vehicle was tracked down to a Burlington garage. The scammer fled, although he was later arrested on a different gun charge in February 2020. After its release, he had Tesla towed from a storage facility in what he believed was another sale. The Seabrook Police Department did not have it by this time, and they proceeded to seize the Model X.

According to the US Department of Justice, Gonzalez is currently facing five charges of possessing and selling stolen motor vehicles. He has been ordered into custody by United States Magistrate Judge Kevin J. Doyle, pending a detention hearing next week, and risks facing ten years in prison for each count of possessing and selling stolen cars. Is.

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Tesla Model X Frozen Lake Mystery Solved, And The Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction

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