South Hill businessman Russell Ashby Lundy III, was sentenced last week to three years in prison for operating a car loan and financing scam that cost his victims over $1 million. Sentenced on Wednesday in the Mecklenburg County Circuit Court, Lundy was also order to pay more than $180,000 in restitution for his victims. 

The scam played out over a three year period at Lundy Motors, a used car dealership in South Hill. Lundy would accept vehicles for trade in while the owner still owed money on the vehicles. Lundy falsely told his victims that he would sell the owner “gap insurance” and warranty coverage and pay off existing balance on the vehicles as part of the finance agreement. Lundy would then put the vehicles up for sale, claiming the vehicles had no liens on them. 

Originally charged with 101 counts of obtaining money through false pretenses and forgery, Lundy entered into an agreement in April. Under the terms of  the agreement, Lundy entered guilty pleas to 50 charges and agreed to pay restitution. 

On Wednesday, Judge Leslie Osborn sentenced Lundy to one year in prison on each of the 50 counts and five years for a single charge of forgery. Judge Osborne suspended 52 years of the total 55 year sentence leaving an active sentence of three years for Lundy to serve, Lundy was also ordered to be of good behavior for 25 years after his release, five years of supervised probation, payment of $183,182.59 in restitution and payment of $11,712 in court costs over an eight year period. 

Prince Edward Commonwealth’s Attorney Megan Clark, acting as special prosecutor after Mecklenburg Commonwealth Attorney Allen Nash recused himself from the case, had sought an active sentence of five years along with 30 years of good behavior, supervised probation for an indefinite period, payment of restitution and a life-time ban for owning a business in the Commonwealth.