AG: Dozens possibly scammed by fraudulent car dealer

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INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) - Hundreds of car-buyers may be the victims of illegally operated car dealers.

A lawsuit filed by the Indiana Attorney General’s Office claims the owners and workers not only lied about tax information but changed vehicle mileage.

The suit is seeking damages and restitution for affected consumers.

The suit names Jerramy Johnson and Jeffrey Presnell, who owned and operated several dealerships in Indianapolis that were forced to forfeit business licenses due to violations of Indiana laws.

“They are not a licensed auto-dealer but they sold 350 vehicles between October of 2017 and this past June,” said Chris Proffitt, spokesperson for the AG’s Office.

Documented improprieties include:

• misrepresenting the mileage on motor vehicles;

• paying off an Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officer to falsely affirm that he inspected repairs made to salvage vehicles;

• avoiding paying the full amount of sales taxes owed by misrepresenting the amounts paid by customers for vehicles;

• failing to deliver titles in a timely manner; and

• selling vehicles without a license and conspiring with a licensed dealership to avoid licensing laws and protections.

At issue in the complaint are Wheels of Fortune LLC, Southpointe Motorcars LLC, and Mid America Auto Remarketing. All three entities were owned by Johnson and operated by Johnson and Presnell.

Google searches pull up a slew of negative reviews and bad experiences with the dealers.

Many people said they paid taxes but never received car titles.

“I mean technically we don’t even own the vehicle I don’t even know who’s name it is in right now,” said Mackenzie Sills, who says she bought a van from a dealership over a year ago but has yet to receive a title.

“We waited around for it. It never came. We would call and call and they wouldn’t answer our phone calls they would hang up when they were talking to us and we just kept telling them it wasn’t coming,” said Sills.

At least 15 people filed official complaints to the AG’s office.

Any consumers who experienced issues in transactions with any of these dealerships or individuals are encouraged to file a complaint with the Office of the Attorney General either online or by calling 1-800-382-5516.

"So it's really important that if you buy a car from a dealer that the names all match and the prices match," said Proffitt. "And if the price is different, that is a red flag and you shouldn't sign those documents."

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