Local Auto Dealer Charged in Improper Sales
A local car dealer is facing 83 charges of felony obtaining property by false pretenses in connection with selling vehicles before he had a title or before it had been paid for, according to a spokesperson for the state Division of Motor Vehicles.
Steven Ray Jones, 55, of Southern Pines is the owner of Steve Jones Honda, 11048 U.S. 15-501 in Aberdeen. He was arrested Thursday morning by DMV investigators. He posted bail and was released by mid-afternoon.
In all, Jones is facing 160 charges. He also is charged with 77 misdemeanors of temporary marker violations and failure to deliver a vehicle title. Temporary markers are temporary licenses and tags.
Marg Howell a spokesperson for the DMV, confirmed the charges and the arrest. She said she did not know whether the charges were related to new or used vehicles.
Howell said the investigation began in May 2012 after the DMV’s License and Theft Division in Moore County began receiving complaints about the dealership.
“There are 200 to 300 customers affected over the last six months,” Howell said.
Attempts to reach Jones Thursday afternoon were unsuccessful. A “closed” sign was on the door of the dealership Thursday afternoon.
Howell said the investigation, which was assisted by the State Bureau of Investigations, is ongoing and more charges could be filed.
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