When a vehicle breaks down, the owner may immediately wonder how to pay for the repairs. Some repairs can be quite expensive, and an owner who is still paying for a loan on the vehicle or who has other financial obligations may be hard pressed to come up with the money. When this happens, a shop that has completed the repairs on the vehicle has the right to sell the vehicle in payment for the repairs. However, some repair shops may be perpetrating scams involving illegal lien sales.
Two men in another state are now facing numerous charges after they allegedly schemed to obtain ownership of vehicles brought to their repair shops. One owned an auto body shop, and the other ran a transmission repair garage. The men reportedly created fake work orders for the vehicles detailing repairs they never did on the vehicles. When the vehicle owners could not pay for the repairs, the men then sold the vehicles to a third man to make a profit.
Facing criminal charges
All three men now face multiple felony counts. If convicted, the men face prison sentences up to 20 years and fines as high as $15,000. The court may also require them to pay restitution to those victims whose vehicles they illegally obtained and sold for profit. The value of the five vehicles reached over $328,000 and included two custom-made, exotic vehicles.
Having a reliable vehicle is critical for most people to get to work and meet their other obligations. Pennsylvania consumers place their faith in those who repair their vehicles. That trust is easily broken when a car dealer or repair shop uses illegal lien sales or other types of fraud to fill their own pockets.