POLICE INVESTIGATE. Zankls Allegedly Bounced $400,000 and $120,000 Checks.
BY: ANDREW COLTON | Editor and Publisher
BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) (Copyright © 2022 MetroDesk Media, LLC) — BocaNewsNow.com has learned that at least one law enforcement agency is investigating the actions of Excell Auto Group, and its owners Scott and Kristen Zankl. The revelation comes just days after Excell filed for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy protection following a civil lawsuit claiming the high-end car dealership engaged in massive fraud. A police investigation does not mean that a crime occurred.
Normally full of high-end and exotic vehicles, the Excell showroom at 1001 Clint Moore Road in Boca Raton was notably empty early last week, causing customers waiting for vehicles — or payment for sold vehicles — to ask questions. Scott Zankl told BocaNewsNow.com in an exclusive interview that his landlord illegally took the vehicles. But the “landlord” sued, claiming Scott and Kristen Zankl engaged in “out of trust” fraud — taking loans for vehicles but not repaying the loans when the cars sold.
Now, a new lawsuit just filed in Palm Beach County Circuit Court by Prestige Luxury Cars, claims that it provided $1.32 Million to Excell as part of a joint venture to secure exotic cars. As part of the deal, Scott and Kristen Zankl were to immediately repay money as cars sold. The suit claims they guaranteed the loan with their home in the west Delray Beach community of Seven Bridges.
From the suit: “Scott Zankl and Kristen Zankl (together “Guarantors”) hereby agree to personally guaranty all obligations of Excell… Without exception, Scott and Kristen pledged all of the real and personal property as security for performance of the Joint Venture Agreement, including their home (on) Pierre Circle (In Seven Bridges), in Delray Beach, Florida.” Homes for sale in Seven Bridges, according to Zev Friedus of ZFC Real Estate, currently range from $1.3 to $3.8M.
The suit claims that as cars sold, money was not repaid. When Prestige demanded payment, the suit alleges that Excell provided one check in the amount of $400,000 and another for $120,000. Both were returned for insufficient funds, according to the filing.
The suit also alleges that Excell moved the vehicles from its Boca Raton showroom to its “Karma” showroom in Fort Lauderdale, another company owned by Scott and Kristen Zankl.
“Excell, Scott and Kirsten Zankl took this action with intent to defraud Prestige to hinder Prestige’s rights as a credit and security interest holder of these assets,” allege attorneys for Prestige.
Prestige Auto, in the suit, claims that the Zankls also used their boat, “Midnight Express,” as collateral. The suit seeks foreclosure on the boat.
Separately, BocaNewsNow.com has learned that detectives from an area law enforcement agency are contacting alleged victims of Excell Auto Group.
Scott Zankl asserted to BocaNewsNow.com that there was no criminal activity, that this is solely a civil matter, and that he expects the situation to be resolved by the end of this week. The federal bankruptcy filing states that Excell has $0-$50,000 in assets and up to $50,000,000 in debt.
Read the lawsuit filed by Prestige Auto, below.
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