Don McGill Toyota Katy Texas Complaint - Car salesman accused of using stolen identities to sell cars
KATY, TEXAS -- http://abclocal.go.com/ktrk/business
ABC13 Eyewitness News
(4/29/05 - HOUSTON) — An employee at a local car dealer is accused of stealing people's identity...and police say he did it while trying to sell others what they thought was a good deal on a new set of wheels.
For weeks, we've been talking with people who say those car deals cost them money and caused lots of damage to their credit records. Now that salesman, Duke Nguyen, is under indictment.
"I gave him the $500 cash and went straight into finance," said car buyer David Gardoni.
Gardoni is one of two dozen car buyers who thought they were getting a good deal on a new car, but there were problems. One problem was the name on his loan. The middle name isn't Gardoni's. When he said he pointed it out to the salesperson, Gardoni was assured it was only a typo.
"They were running through it so fast, that he told me 'Don't worry about it. Just sign the contract so you can take delivery of the vehicle'," said Gardoni.
Instead, detectives say Gardoni and two dozen others were being ripped off. Authorities believe the salesman, Duke Nguyen, never turned Gardoni's downpayment into the dealership. They say instead, the loan was processed under a stolen identity.
When the dealership found out about the problems, workers called all the customers in question and had them return the vehicles. Don McGill has not offered anyone refunds because the dealership never got the downpayment. Because these customers have bad credit to begin with, the dealership can't offer the same low interest loans to victims.
"We are a victim in this," said Don McGill GM Tim Harless. "Unfortunately, we're the worst victim in this for the simple reason that we had the most amount of exposure on this."
As for those who are out of money and don't have a car, some have hired attorneys. They're asking why the Don McGill dealership isn't responsible for the actions of one of its employees.
"I think he should right a wrong," said Gardoni. "I don't believe he should make his customers who walk in be accountable for the ill dealings of his employees."
Officials at the dealership say they had no idea of what Nguyen was allegedly doing. They're cooperating fully with authorities. Harris County detectives say there were 25 complaints against Nguyen in all. It's believed the financial impact of the bad loans is somewhere around $670,000.
(Copyright © 2005, KTRK-TV)