State files complaint against Tampa car dealer, alleges false advertising and failure to transfer titles

Better Call Behnken

Auto View LLC faces fines or a suspension or revocation of license

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Auto View, LLC, a car dealership at the center of a Better Call Behnken investigation, now faces an administrative complaint, filed by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.

The 20 counts of accusations include selling vehicles with more than 100,000 miles more than advertised, charging a customer $435 for title and registration when the actual cost was $158.35, and repeatedly failing to transfer titles within 30 days of sale, as required by Florida law.

Manager Ahmed Abuelenen told Consumer Investigator Shannon Behnken that he was unfamiliar with the complaint but said the allegations are not true.

“We’re not interested in speaking to the news because it’s not real news, it’s fake news,” Abuelenen said.

The owner of record since June is Kevin Santiago. He has not returned requests for comment. Abuelenen said he would pass along our request for comment on the state’s complaint.

Some of the allegations in the state complaint include the sale of a 2016 Ford advertised to have 201,558 miles when it actually had 591,377 miles. Another car, according to the complaint, was advertised as having 102,085 miles, when it actually had 256,800.

One of the complaints may sound familiar. Better Call Behnken has told you about Chloe Annamanthadoo. She ended up losing her $5,200 down payment even though the car was repossessed before she ever took it home.

After my investigation, Auto View’s bond company gave Chloe her money back.

As for these new allegations:

“I know nothing about that. We do not do that,” Abuelenen said of the odometer issues. “That’s illegal.”

It’s unclear what happens next. The state’s complaint says it intends to move forward with one or more of the following: suspension or revocation of the dealer’s license or a fine.

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