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East Valley man scammed in sneaky car transaction

08/14/2012

Kim Hegg is the proud new owner of a 2008 Dodge Nitro. It's a vehicle he says he liked as soon as he test-drove it.

"Oh yeah, it drives wonderful," Hegg said. "I took it on the freeway and it drives nice. The air conditioner blows cold and there are no major defects that I have found."

The seller told him upfront that the Dodge Nitro had a Salvage Title, which was why he was asking only $7,400. That's several thousand dollars under normal retail price. A salvage branded title means that sometime in the past, the vehicle had been wrecked significantly.

Hegg said the seller told him if he simply took the vehicle and got it checked out at an MVD inspection center, the State of Arizona would find it was road worthy and he would be able to register it.

So, Hegg handed over $7,400 in cash and headed for that inspection center where his Dodge Nitro passed the state inspection with flying colors.

However, he soon hit a snag while at the inspection.

"Everything was fine until we went around the building to license it and that's when the problem arose," according to Hegg.

The problem Hegg is talking about is that the Dodge Nitro he just spent more than 7 grand on was unable to be registered because records indicated two years ago,the state of Florida issued it a Certificate of Destruction.

That meant the Dodge Nitro should have been put into a machine and crushed into a small cube so it could never be driven again.

"A certificate of destruction pretty much means it should have been crushed ito a 4-foot by 4-foot cube and it should not be in existance, but obviously it is," Hegg said.

3 On Your Side got involved and although I was able to track down the seller of the Dodge Nitro, I couldn't talk to him.

That's because he's currently serving time in an Ohio prison after pleading guilty to a multimillion-dollar mortgage fraud scheme. So, selling wrecked vehicles may not be all that surprising.

But, how did the seller obtain a vehicle that should have been crushed? And more importantly, how in the world did he get an Arizona Title branded Salvage? It's a document that clearly shouldn't have been issued.

Harold Sanders is the spokesman for the Arizona Department of Transportation and said an investigation has now been launched.

"The information you have provided us led us to believe that something needs to be looked at during this process," Sanders told 3 On Your Side.

But while Arizona looks into the matter, Hegg said the investigation does him no good. He's out $7,400 in cash and he owns a vehicle he's not even allowed to register or drive.

"Today, it is nothing more than a glorified driveway ornament," Hegg said. "I legally can't put it on the road and I won't."

Hegg says he's considering selling the vehicle for parts in an effort to get his money back. He said he's also considering selling it to a rancher or farmer who can drive the vehicle on private property without having to register it.
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With the advance knowledge of a potential problem, he should have given the seller only a small down payment, and then once registered, seller would receive balance. He was forewarned - he is a fool, IMHO.

:cool:
 

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I would suggest he puts it a container and ships it to Africa, they'll drive any piece of crap over there...
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Update

UPDATE: 3OYS investigation leads to one arrest involving car title

09/19/2012

You might remember Kim Hegg from a 3 On Your Side report last month.

Hegg had purchased a Dodge Nitro through a private party transaction and paid $7,400, only to find out he can't register the vehicle with the state of Arizona.

That's because it was damaged so badly at one point that the state of Florida last year issued the vehicle a Certificate of Destruction, meaning the car was supposed to be put into an industrial crusher and compacted into a 4-foot by 4-foot metal cube.

So, 3 On Your Side got involved to see how someone was able to sell a useless vehicle to Hegg and because of our questions, Harold Sanders with the Arizona Department of Transportation said his agency launched an investigation.

"This all began when 3 On Your Side's Gary Harper called up and asked for our assistance," Sanders said.

According to Sanders, the state investigation led detectives to arrest Patricia Bermudez, 34, on charges of theft and tampering with public records in relation to that Dodge Nitro Hegg bought.

Bermudez reportedly worked at a Mesa check-cashing store, which is actually authorized by the state to register cars and transfer titles.

And that's where Bermudez, according to ADOT investigators, allegedly helped create and issue a forged title for that Dodge Nitro.

"Of course, that forged document cannot be used to do anything legally with it because of the way it was created," Sanders said.

3 On Your Side has discovered that the Dodge Nitro's seller, a guy by the name of Nathan Orms, knew that the Dodge couldn't be registered or sold.

So, according to investigators, he took the vehicle to Bermudez's work where she had access to equipment capable of forging a new title.

Bermudez is currently out on bond. As for Orms, he's got bigger problems.

He hasn't been charged in connection with the scheme because he's currently serving time in an Ohio prison after pleading guilty to a multimillion-dollar mortgage fraud scheme.

And what about Hegg? Well, he remains stuck with a vehicle which looks new and seems to run fine. However, it is deemed unsafe and can't be registered to use on a public street.

That means he's out $7,400 that he paid for the vehicle.

Sanders said it's an unfortunate situation with not many options.

"This is the end of the road for that vehicle," he said. "Mr. Hegg can only sell the vehicle for scrap metal or so it can be dismantled."

Hegg said he'll consider parting out the vehicle to salvage yards. He's also optimistic he might be able to sell the car to a rancher or farmer to use on private property where registration is not required.
SOURCE w/video
 
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