Ohio Authorities Break Up Used Car Fraud Ring

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Lancaster, Ohio (AP) -- An Ohio sheriff says detectives have seized more than 50 cars from a used car dealership that ran a wide-reaching fraud ring.

Fairfield County sheriff Dave Phalen says Sommer Auto, Inc., in Pastaskala, pocketed payments from customers but failed to pay lenders.

Phalen says the dealer would hide vehicles from banks when a repossession order was issued.

Phalen says the investigation began last week when a deputy stopped a vehicle with a fictitious dealer plate.

The driver could not prove ownership of the vehicle, and deputies discovered more than 50 other cars parked on his property.

Phalen says no arrests have been made yet.

The State Highway Patrol is investigating.

The vehicles will be turned over to banks or impounded until the owners are located.

(Copyright 2009 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

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