ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Dougherty County District Attorney Greg Edwards is warning car buyers to pay attention to used car dealers who sell cars without titles.
This comes after a car salesmen, Jesus Arango, was charged with new racketeering counts in an alleged car scheme.
Dougherty County Sheriff’s Office investigators are working to identify more victims, but in the meantime, officials are encouraging everyone to stay alert and protect yourself from becoming the next victim.
Imagine going into a used car dealership, spending thousands of dollars and later finding your car was sold to you without a title.
“I mean it’s horrible and I just think a lot of these dealerships pop up around the time tax season starts,” said Nathaniel Sloan, a resident.
Investigators have been following Jesus Arango, a used car salesman, who's been allegedly selling cars he didn't even have the titles to.
“The allegations are that the matters began as early as 2015 and proceeded to 2016. And the sheriff’s department, who has been investigating this case, has been following it up diligently,” said Edwards.
Arango was charged with 11 counts of theft by deception in 2016 for the alleged scheme at A & J Auto Business. This week, additional charges were added, now making it 33 individuals who were victimized.
“He would get vehicles and would not get the appropriate tag and title information and tax information,” said Edwards.
Edwards said he wouldn’t apply ad valorem tax or other administrative fees, but instead he would give the customers drive out tags and renew them each month.
This case should be a fair warning for all car buyers.
“It doesn’t hurt to check with Better Business Bureaus about car dealers and dealerships,” said Edwards.
So, before you give up your cash, do your own investigation, check the VIN number to ensure the car being sold to you is sold properly by a car salesman.
“You have to do a lot of the research yourself,” said Sloan.
Edwards said that this is an ongoing investigation and Arango should have his arraignment within the next 60 days. He is also encouraging anyone who may have been a victim in this case to come forward and reach out to the Dougherty County Sheriff’s Office.