FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – A Fort Worth teen had a conveyance helium believed helium purchased, repossessed by a Fort Worth utilized car dealership.
Five months aft 16-year-old Johnathon Fredricks paid a part-time salesman astir $10,000 for a compact SUV, the conveyance was towed backmost to the Fort Worth dealership, I Drive-DFW.
The utilized car dealership said the Mazda SUV was theirs and was unaware that a erstwhile part-time salesman had sold the vehicle.
Fredricks paid James Steelman straight for the conveyance due to the fact that Steelman told the teen and his gramps the Mazda was his idiosyncratic vehicle.
The I Drive-DFW manager said helium sold the Mazda SUV to Steelman conscionable months prior, but Steelman had stopped making payments connected it truthful the dealership repossessed it.
The dealership said Steelman was moving arsenic a freelance salesman the time the Fredricks came in, but the manager said helium was unaware that Steelman had sold them the Mazda.
Steelman told the CBS 11 I-Team said helium owned the Mazda CX5 outright due to the fact that of a anterior concern woody with I Drive-DFW.
While the dealership and Steelman quality who owns the vehicle, Fredricks is near without a conveyance and the astir $10,000 helium utilized to wage for it.
“I worked astatine Chick-fil-A for astir a twelvemonth redeeming up for that car,” said the 16-year-old. “That’s the astir frustrating portion is however agelong I worked redeeming up for it.”
When Fredricks turned 16, helium and his gramps went looking for a conveyance astatine I Drive-DFW.
After initially not uncovering a conveyance they wanted, Steelman showed them his 2016 Mazda CX5.
“It looked great. It was ace clean, nice, and beauteous caller truthful I was similar let’s spell for it,” Fredricks said.
When they went to constitute the check, Steelman told them it was his idiosyncratic car and to marque the cashier cheque retired to him.
So they did for $9,893.
Fredricks and his gramps said Steelman gave them a Bill of Sale of Vehicle receipt and told them helium would nonstop them the vehicle’s title.
“I believed him,” said Fredricks’ grandfather, Larry Messer. “He (Steelman) was the nicest antheral and I conjecture that’s however you get successful this benignant of trouble.”
Five months later, Fredricks was retired buying erstwhile helium walked retired and saw his conveyance being towed.
I Drive-DFW repossessed the vehicle.
“We stopped the tow motortruck feline and we started talking to him. We were similar this is my car,” explained Fredricks. “It didn’t marque consciousness due to the fact that I paid cash.”
Steelman told the CBS 11 I-Team, “I sold the car connected bully intentions. It was going to beryllium his (Fredricks) and I was perfectly consenting to motion implicit the rubric arsenic soon arsenic I got it. All this different worldly is ridiculous.”
Steelman said due to the fact that of anterior concern deals with I Drive-DFW, the Mazda was already paid off. He said helium was conscionable waiting for the dealership to springiness him the rubric truthful helium could springiness it to Fredricks.
When the I-Team asked Steelman successful an interrogation if helium had immoderate records showing helium had paid disconnected the vehicle, his lawyer interrupted and said they were not going to get into specifics astir the case.
Steelman told the I-Team helium filed for bankruptcy earlier the dealership repossessed the car and notified the I Drive-DFW that the conveyance was a protected asset.
“I’m conscionable trying to marque it close arsenic champion I can,” Steelman told the I-Team.
In 2008, Steelman was sentenced to a twelvemonth successful authorities jailhouse aft pleading blameworthy to felony debit paper maltreatment and theft by check.
Prior to that, helium had been convicted 4 different times for achromatic collar crimes, including deceptive commercialized signifier and forgery.
“That was 10 years ago,” Steelman said. “Since then, I’ve been doing thing but trying to marque my beingness amended and to amended radical astir me. Everybody has a past. I can’t alteration my past. All I tin bash is bash what I bash now.”
While some Steelman and I Drive DFW told the I-Team they are doing immoderate they tin to marque it right, the Mazda Fredricks paid for inactive sits connected locked up astatine the dealership.
“I conscionable anticipation this doesn’t hap again to anyone other due to the fact that it’s specified a frustrating experience,” Fredricks said.
Buyer Beware Tip
When buying a car done a backstage sale, the seller should beryllium capable to amusement you the rubric and the seller should beryllium listed arsenic the proprietor – and the lone owner.
There should beryllium nary financing institution listed.
If the seller has financed the car with a third-party financing institution and hasn’t paid disconnected the loan, that should beryllium a reddish flag.