Convicts at Car Dealers, Part 2
If the car dealer’s employee is willing to steal from the company that pays her, what makes you think they won’t steal from you too?
Arnold Pontiac GMC had been in business since 1916 and Joyce Piasente had worked there for 27 years but she stole nearly half a million dollars from them anyway ($439,806 to be precise about it). Being a long-term employee apparently doesn't mean anything more than being a green pea at Bennington Subaru either, at least not when it comes to the old car dealer adage, lie-cheat-n-steal.
And she might have kept right on getting away with it too, at least until one day when someone from GMAC showed up at the dealership to pick up a check to cover "rejected" funds. One thing led to another and after the dealership hired an accountant to figure it all out, the owner found nearly half a million was missing, reports the Washington (PA) Observer-Reporter newspaper.
When confronted, she admitted taking the money and said it was needed to fund her children's debts and to finance her gambling addiction. How much went for one and how much went for the other didn't seem to matter much to the owner of the car dealership because it's all gone now.
The car dealer employee, make that ex-employee, was sentenced to 18 to 36 months in the slammer.
You have to wonder though, just how much money was that person raking in that the owner didn't even notice a missing half million? And how much of it was honest income and how much of it was just another way of ripping someone off? Maybe none of it? Maybe all of it? We don't know.
One thing we do know, however, is that if a car dealer doesn't care enough to spot a thief in action, or is just so sloppy that they miss it (assuming they are watching out for you) then it shouldn’t surprise you when you realize they stole money from you in your deal too. After all, who is better to steal from customers than a thief?
How might they do it? Packing a deal with window etching when you don't realize how worthless it is. Charging for credit life and disability insurance when you didn't know it was in the deal. Adding Gap insurance to your costs. It used to be undercoating and fabric protection, before car dealers figured out how to really get in your wallet or purse. Watch out for the thievin’ on the retail end — that’s your end and it can cost you money!
If you’re the victim of car dealer fraud, call us. We go after car dealers (and manufacturers) every day. It’s what we do.