The Louisiana Used Motor Vehicle Commission fined a local car dealer $38,900 and revoked his license for allegedly breaking seven laws, including fraud, taking too long to give the customer the vehicle’s title, and illegally issuing temporary or dealer’s plates.
Consumer complaints prompted the investigation of Value Import Inc. on Florida Boulevard and owner Mohammed Ibrahim, commission spokeswoman Kimberly Baron said. Most of the violations took place in 2010 and 2011.
The phone at Value Import has been disconnected, and Mohammed could not be reached for comment Thursday.
June Powell, an investigator for the commission, said the fraud took place in two transactions.
On one occasion, Powell said, Value Import bought a vehicle and issued two checks for it but stopped payment on the second. The dealership never made good on the second check, she said.
On another occasion, a consumer bought a vehicle from Value Import but returned it because it had a mechanical issue, Powell said.
Value Import then sold the vehicle to another customer without fixing the problem or disclosing it to the buyer, she said.
The commission’s investigation also alleged that Value Import:
- Illegally issued temporary license plates or dealer’s plates on 100 occasions.
- Twice broke the law by employing an unlicensed salesperson.
- On 20 occasions did not get a customer the vehicle’s title within the time allowed by law.
- Once failed to submit a monthly sales report to Motor Vehicle Audit by the 20th of the next month.
- Twice illegally repossessed vehicles.
- Left the title open or unassigned to the dealer in 16 instances.
Baron said the Used Motor Vehicle Commission collected $20,000 of the fine by seizing the bond Value Import was required to post as a used car dealership.
The commission will seek to collect the remainder of the fine against Mohammed, she said.