Bryan Cohen Jul. 16, 2014, 6:09pm

PHOENIX (Legal Newsline) - Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne announced a settlement on Tuesday with a used automobile dealer and its owner to resolve allegations they engaged in deceptive acts and practices.

Horne filed a lawsuit on May 20 against Prieto's Auto Sales Inc. and its owners, Gustavo and Rita Prieto, alleging the defendants violated the Arizona Consumer Fraud Act by engaging in unfair acts, making false promises and misrepresentations, and suppressing or omitting material facts.

The defendants allegedly failed to inspect vehicles and repair hazardous defects, failed to abide by statutorily mandated warranties, made false promises that defects would be repaired, sold vehicles for which they did not hold valid title, sold trade-in vehicles before the consumer's purchase was completed, sold vehicles with hidden collision damage, sold vehicles with salvage titles without disclosing the defect in the title, failed to follow requirements for the repossession and disposition of repossessed vehicles, knowingly wrote bad refund checks and failed to properly disclose financing terms.

On July 3, the court approved a consent judgment. Under the terms of the judgment, Prieto's Auto and Gus and Rita Prieto are permanently enjoined from committing violations of the Arizona Consumer Fraud Act in the future. In addition to injunctive relief, Prieto's Auto, Gus Prieto and Rita Prieto must pay $15,716 in consumer restitution and $80,000 in civil penalties.

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