Former Mishawaka car dealer ordered to pay $140K for ‘deceptive acts’

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MISHAWAKA, Ind. (AP) — The former owner of a Mishawaka used car dealership has been ordered to pay about $140,000 for alleged deception, including failing to deliver vehicle titles to customers.

A St. Joseph County judge ordered Eddie Rodriguez of Bremen to pay the state of Indiana $31,000 and civil penalties of $110,000 for 20 violations of state law.

Last week’s judgment was in favor of a complaint that the Indiana Attorney General’s office filed against Rodriguez and Viper Automotive, which closed last year in Mishawaka.

The ruling cites “deceptive acts,” including failing to make payments for trade-ins and failing to deliver vehicle titles to 12 customers who purchased vehicles.

Rodriguez tells the South Bend Tribune he doesn’t dispute the judgment’s findings, but alleges a relative embezzled more than $100,000 from him in 2017.

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