A North Carolina DMV investigator has charged one man with selling 16 cars for more than $115,000 without first getting legal title to the vehicles.
A sheaf of arrest warrants sworn out Tuesday said Luis Orlando Salazar-Marcial, 51, of Cary obtained property by false pretense by selling the cars; kept $900 that rightfully belonged to the state Division of Motor Vehicles; altered vehicle titles, and used his wife's notary public stamp to notarize documents himself.
The warrants say the scam ran from Nov. 11 last year through March 16 this year.
In every case, Investigator B.M.Love charged, Salazar-Marcial did not pay off liens on the cars he was selling, so he didn't have titles for them and could not legally sell them.
Salazar-Marcial also never turned in paperwork to DMV, and the buyer never got titles or registration plates for the cars he paid for.
The victim listed in all the charges is Loyd Wallace Pollard of Lillington. Pollard is president of an investment company called Alder Capital Inc. that is based at his home, according to the Secretary of State's office.
A spokesman for the DMV said Pollard acts as a "floor manager" for car dealers, lending them money so they can acquire cars to sell.
John Brockwell, a DMV spokesman, said investigators have identified 12 victims in the case, but some have not returned attempts to reach them.
The vehicles ranged from a 2003 Mercedes Benz to a 2013 Kia, Love said in the warrants.
Altogether, the charges allege that Salazar-Marcial swindled Pollard out of $115,525.
In three instances, the charges say, Salazar-Marcial forged former owners' names on a state form asking for a duplicate title to a car.
The DMV said Salazar-Marcial was associated with a company called Auto Resource that was in Cary and went out of business earlier this month.
According to the Secretary of State's records, Salazar-Marcial was associated with a company called Franklin Auto that did business at the corner of West Franklin and South Graham streets in Chapel Hill.
The records say that company was dissolved by the secretary of state in 1998, however.
Salazar-Marcial was arrested Wednesday morning near a Division of Motor Vehicles driver's-license office at 3231 Avent Ferry Road. A magistrate set his bail at $100,000.