Two Tucson used car salesmen were busted for reportedly doing those nasty things we already think used car salesmen do.
Too bad this Hurricane Motors duo bolstered the negative stereotype, although the news release did not state if they took the stereotype to the limits and also wore cheap, brown suits.
David “Jay” Franklin, 47, and John D. Franklin, Sr., 72, allegedly bilked customers and a finance company out of nearly $200,000 through switched car titles and fraudulent loans. Maximum penalties Franklin and Franklin the elder could get if convicted are 85 and 62 years in prison, respectively.
Tucson Auto Dealers Charged with Fraud, Money Laundering, Arizona Attorney General news release
PHOENIX – Attorney General Terry Goddard announced the indictment of John David “Jay” Franklin, 47, of Tucson, and John D. Franklin, Sr., 72, of Tucson, on charges of fraudulent schemes and artifices, theft, illegally conducting an enterprise and money laundering.
The Franklins owned and operated Hurricane Motors, a used car dealership located (at 3100 N. Oracle Road) in Tucson. They are alleged to have stolen approximately $50,000 from Hurricane customers as well as $145,000 from Car Financial Services, Inc (“CFI”), a motor vehicle financing company.
According to investigators, Hurricane Motors allegedly defrauded individual buyers out of more than $50,000 through a scheme known as “shuffling titles.” The company allegedly assured buyers that the cars they were purchasing had clean titles, meaning there were no outstanding debts or liens on the cars. In many cases, there allegedly were significant existing liens on the cars.
When customers attempted to register their cars with the Arizona Motor Vehicle Department, they were unable to do so because of the existing lien. In addition, the customers who purchased the cars became responsible for the payment of the pre-existing lien.
When customers complained to Hurricane Motors, investigators say that Jay Franklin assured the customers that he would resolve the problem. However, after several unsuccessful attempts to obtain permanent registration, many buyers stopped payment on the cars. Consequently, Hurricane Motors would repossess the cars and, according to investigators, resell them using the same fraudulent tactics.
Additionally, the Franklins allegedly sold the auto financing agreements that individual buyers formed with Hurricane Motors to the financing company, CFI. CFI buys and services contracts from car dealers across the company, thereby absolving dealers of the expense of running a finance company and assuring the payment of contracts.
As a result of this arrangement, CFI became the holder of the financing agreements and stepped in as the replacement financier on the loans. CFI owned the cars until the individual buyers fully paid off the principal and interest on their loans.
Investigators said that the Franklins also established their own finance company, “Riteway,” to finance the end-user loans. All contracts with individual buyers that were financed were sold through loans offered by Riteway.
When the Franklins sold contracts to CFI, they allegedly did not inform many of their individual customers that the financing contracts had been sold and that all payments should be directed to CFI. As a result, Hurricane Motors, through its financing affiliate, Riteway, continued to collect monthly payments from individual buyers.
Further, when individual buyers questioned the new CFI bills they received in the mail, the Franklins allegedly assured them that they would forward payments to CFI and instructed buyers to continue to make payments to Riteway.
As a result, CFI did not receive payment on the cars and repossessed the vehicles. These repossessions led to numerous consumer complaints and ultimately led CFI to learn that Hurricane Motors and its affiliate Riteway never informed the customers that their contracts were sold.
If convicted on all charges, John David “Jay” Franklin faces between 15 and 85.6 years in prison, and John D. Franklin, Sr. faces between 10 and 62.8 years in prison.
My boss at an insurance agency where I worked would always say he liked used car salesmen. After all, he would qip, they are lower on the ladder than insurance agents.
Have you ever been shafted by a car salesman?
An insurance agent?
Do you think that VW bug featured in Crappy or Snappy was purchased at Hurricane Motors?