Investigation continues into complaints against car dealer
EAST PALESTINE -- Ohio State Highway Patrol investigators continue to investigate complaints from Heritage Ford-Mercury customers.
Trooper Dennis Goodhart said East Palestine police forward one or two complaints to him each week. Goodhart said he has received about 20 complaints since the dealership closed Feb. 11.
Signs posted by Russ Kiko Associates Inc. of Canton state the property formerly used by the dealership is to be sold at auction at noon April 10. The auction service is offering the property in five commercial parcels.
Goodhart said he is now interviewing customers regarding the various complaints against the dealership. He said when investigators believe they have all the complaints, they will turn any they consider criminal over to the county prosecutor.
Police reports said customers stated they have paid for new vehicles and have not received titles, and the dealer has not paid off the bank loans on vehicles they traded in. In some cases, the trade-ins were sold.
Goodhart of OSHP in Trumbull County, said complaints appear to be a mix of civil and criminal. He is investigating with assistance from the Ohio attorney general's office and the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles.