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Dealership settles white collar crimes charges

An independent car dealership operating out of several Pennsylvania cities has reached a settlement agreement on multiple federal crime charges. The dealership was accused of white collar crimes in connection with the lease terms offered to customers, as well as the condition of the cars offered for lease. The settlement will allow the dealership to avoid trial in the matter, but requires compliance with the agreed-upon terms within a period of 90 days.

The dealership, which has locations in Carlisle, Harrisburg and York, represented that the vehicles available for lease were in good working condition. However, an investigation revealed that many of the cars were in poor repair and required mechanical work to run properly. In addition, the repair work that was done was allegedly not of high quality.

The lease agreement that was used by the dealership was not in compliance with federal law, according to investigators. The agreement reached with the dealership states that proper lease forms will be put into place within 90 days. The dealership must comply with all auto regulations and consumer protection laws in future dealings with customers.

In negotiating this settlement, the Pennsylvania dealership will avoid going to trial in the matter, which could have been a lengthy and costly process with an uncertain outcome. Because they chose to settle, the dealership can pay the $12,500 civil penalty and make the agreed-upon changes, while continuing to operate. For many Pennsylvania business owners facing white collar crimes charges, this outcome is preferable to pursuing the matter in court.

Source:, "Pennsylvania dealership settles charges for leasing unrepaired vehicles", Sept. 3, 2015

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