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Local News

Manager reportedly didn’t give titles to some car buyers

September 29th, 2011 11:36 pm by Staff Reports

In two separate incidents, a city car lot manager failed to provide necessary documents to customers who bought vehicles, according to court documents.
George W. Gwinn Jr., general manager of Reliable Imports, 528 W. Market St., was arraigned Thursday in Washington County Sessions Court on one count of theft of property over $10,000 and two counts of theft of property over $1,000.
Gwinn, 39, 1726 Sylvan Hill Road, Elizabethton, posted bond Thursday.
Two customers filed complaints with police in which they both said Gwinn never gave them the title to the vehicles that were purchased, according to court documents.
On July 12, Johnny Robertson reportedly purchased a 1999 Chevy Blazer from Gwinn at Reliable Imports. Robertson attempted to get the car’s title from Gwinn, who told him he wasn’t sure when the title would be available.
Robertson called Gwinn on Sept. 23 to ask him about the title, and he was told to come to the business to receive a dealer’s tag, the court record reads. Robertson was given the tag, but never received the title.
The second incident occurred on Aug. 23, after Kelly Slone purchased a vehicle from the car lot.
Slone reportedly told police she went to the business on Sept. 8 to make a payment and get the title to the vehicle, which she had never received. After speaking with Gwinn, she said he told her it was difficult to obtain a title from Carter County.
Slone reportedly made another attempt to get the title Monday, but was advised to come to the lot and trade for a new car.
Gwinn was also accused in a separate incident that occurred March 13 in which he failed to cancel a loan that was made after a customer declined to purchase a vehicle from Reliable Imports.
According to court records, Michael J. Walker test-drove a 2006 Chevrolet HHR and told Gwinn he wanted to buy the vehicle after repairs were made to it by the business. Walker reportedly filled out loan papers with Gwinn.
On March 28, Walker told police he was contacted by Gwinn to come pick up the car. After discovering the vehicle was still in need of repairs, Walker reportedly told Gwinn that he was not going to buy the car.
Gwinn told Walker he would take care of everything, according to the court record.
On Aug. 16, Walker received a call from Whitestone Financial in North Carolina informing him that he was behind on car payments on the car loan he had financed with Gwinn for the Chevrolet HHR.
After speaking with Gwinn, Walker told police Gwinn told him that “he could only give him a few bills now because he had used the money to buy other cars,” the court record reads.
During the investigation, police discovered that three payments were made on the fraudulent account at Whitestone Financial, 3900 Bristol Hwy., No. 2.
The total amount of the loan received in Walker’s name was $14,227.98.
This article has been corrected to reflect that Walker received the call Whitestone Financial.

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