LITTLE ROCK — A circuit court judge has found an Arkansas auto dealer liable for nearly 60 violations of the state's Deceptive Trade Practices Act and $590,000 in civil penalties.
The decision was handed down by Sixth Circuit Court Judge Chris Piazza.
According to the Arkansas Attorney General's Office, John Vancuren and his wife Michelle Vancuren, owners of the Infinity Auto Sales, Inc., Infinity Towing and Recovery, Inc., and Vancurens Auto Sales, did not satisfy liens on vehicles or return money belonging to customers. The Vancurens allegedly submitted loan applications to a third party lender and when approved, deposited the lender deposit in their own bank accounts.
This left a lump sum of loan proceeds and requiring the borrower to repay the lender, the Attorney General's Office said. In cases where the customer returned their vehicle because of mechanical issues, the Vancurens did not return the loan proceeds which left the customer with no car and the loan debt, according to the Attorney General's Office.
“I applaud Judge Piazza’s ruling on behalf of the brave men and women who testified and stood up to John and Michelle Vancuren in Court,” Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge said in a statement. “Used car dealers must deliver title according to the law. These types of deceitful actions by an Arkansas business, which harm consumers and the overall business community, must be met with strong consequences.”