Sept. 6 – SOUTHERN INDIANA – After nearly six years, some of the victims of a Sellersburg used car dealership owner have been given their motor vehicle titles by a Clark County judge.
A summary judgment issued by Clark Superior Court Judge Kyle P. Williams on August 31 also requires defendants Auto Enterprises, Dustin Meade and Kayla Bartley to pay restitution.
According to court records, the defendants, who face a bankruptcy lawsuit in New Albany in January, owe the State of Indiana and plaintiffs in the case $226,049.19.
“I’m surprised we haven’t really heard about (the judgment) because of how long it took,” Teresa Marlene Shultz said. “My main problem now is what are we going to encounter if we go to the BMV.”
The Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles is ordered by the judge to issue vehicle titles to a total of 18 customers.
Shultz contacted the News and Tribune last week, days before summary judgment was due, frustrated with the situation.
She said her family had been waiting nearly six years for the title to a Black Ford F-250 truck purchased in 2016 by her husband, Kelly Shultz.
She said it was a long and costly headache.
“It cost us thousands (more) of dollars because we could have sold this truck a long time ago, our payment is about $400 at 7% interest,” she said, adding that the family could have refinanced the loan at a lower price. rate had they had their title.
The truck uses expensive diesel fuel and the family has to send in a temporary tag every month. Every month, she says, she has to access her family’s RiverLink account and change the license plate number.
She said her notice of summary judgment said her family would be compensated, but provided no further details.
According to the summary judgment, the court finds that “the defendant operated as a supplier engaged in the sale of used motor vehicles to consumers and did not provide the products or services which the defendant represented to consumers as it could.”
Indiana State Police began investigating Meade in 2017 after customers told authorities they purchased vehicles from the now-closed Sellersburg dealership but did not receive a receipt. warranties or car titles they had paid for.
Customer affidavits show that at least 19 consumers failed to obtain title to their motor vehicles within 31 days of purchase.
According to the summary judgment, “consumer affidavits further show that defendant failed to remit consumer funds to third-party service providers and also failed to remit agreed-upon funds to lien holders to reimburse vehicles for consumer exchange. Defendant failed to do these things after telling consumers he would do them.”
The defendants are also required to pay the Indiana Attorney General’s office more than $77,000 in restitution to nine plaintiffs.
They are also ordered to pay a total of $135,000 for violating the Consumer Deceptive Sales Act, or $5,000 for each of the deceptive acts committed.
Another $13,500 is owed by the defendants for “incurable deceptive acts”, or $500 for each “incurable deceptive act” committed against consumers.
According to Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita’s press secretary, Kelly Stevenson, the state’s Consumer Protection Division filed a lawsuit under the Consumer Deceptive Sales Act in July 2018 against KB Auto Enterprises LLC, All American Auto Sales and owners Kayla Bartley and Dustin Meade.
The lawsuit was filed “alleging non-payment of trade-in liens, non-disbursement of funds for service contracts sold by the dealer, and non-delivery of titles to 25 consumers,” Stevenson said in an e-mail. e-mail to the News and Tribune.
One of the lawsuit’s goals is to compel the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles to issue certificates of title to people who purchased the vehicles.
Meade also faces two felony 6 deception charges in Clark Circuit Court 3. The next hearing in that case is scheduled for September 13.