The Department of Motor Vehicles investigators arrested a car salesman/finance manager who allegedly sold a trade-in vehicle whose owner had wanted it donated to charity.
The suspect could face enhanced penalties as the victim in the case is over the age of 60.
58-year-old Allen J. Smith, Jr. of Las Vegas, was arrested without incident Friday at his employer, BMW of Henderson, and booked into the Clark County Detention Center.
DMV Compliance Enforcement investigators said in January 2016, Ms. Dorothy Lee, a senior citizen, purchased a 2016 BMW 3 series from BMW of Henderson.
Lee’s 1989 Volvo did not have a significant trade-in value so she requested that BMW of Henderson donate her Volvo to Safe Nest (Nevada’s Charity for Victims of Domestic Violence) in her name so she could receive a tax deduction. Lee even contacted Safe Nest to arrange the donation.
Lee told investigators that Smith agreed to facilitate the donation on her behalf with Safe Nest, even telling Lee that he knew a person who worked at Safe Nest.
Instead, Smith allegedly advertised the vehicle on Craigslist and sold it to a private party on February 2, 2016 - leaving Lee and Safe Nest with nothing.
Lee says she experienced frustration, anxiety, and sleepless nights trying to determine what happened to her vehicle and resolve the issue.
Even though she is a victim in the scam, called “curbing” in the auto industry, Lee has asked only that BMW of Henderson donate $2,175 to Safe Nest.
Nevada DMV investigators charged Smith with Obtaining Money Under False Pretenses, a class B felony, with an elder enhancement because Lee is over the age of 60.
The original charge carries a sentence of one to six years in prison, restitution and a fine of up to $10,000.
The enhanced penalty for targeting an elderly person increases the potential prison term to a minimum of two years up to a maximum of 20.