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SPRINGVILLE — The owner of a Utah County recreation trailer business already charged with fraudulent activity in one case now faces an additional charge for failing to deliver trailers or refunds to more than three dozen customers, according to court records.
Benjamin Ashley Grimes, 48, of Springville, was charged Thursday in 4th District Court by the Utah Attorney General's Office with engaging in a pattern of unlawful activity, a second-degree felony.
Grimes was the owner of Moby1 Expedition Trailers LLC which closed its doors in 2018 and filed for bankruptcy. In 2019, Grimes was charged with pocketing insurance money and selling a trailer he was supposed to repair for a customer, according to court documents. The next court hearing in that case was scheduled for Aug. 3.
According to the latest charges, the Utah Division of Consumer Protection received 40 complaints from customers who ordered trailers from Moby1 and paid more than $888,000 in deposits from April 2015 to December 2018. Those customers claimed that Moby1 failed to "deliver trailers, meet deadlines or honor refund requests under the contract" and by the time the business declared bankruptcy it "had not delivered a trailer or made a refund of deposit to 39 of the complainants," according to charging documents.
Moby1 sold custom-made recreational trailers and claimed each one would take up to a year to construct, the charges state. Customers had the right to cancel the contract if construction took longer than 18 months.
"Based on my analysis, I believe a pattern of misrepresentation and material omissions emerges with respect to existing customers who were given false information about the status of their trailers and new customers being told about the availability of a trailer on the timeframe provided to them," the lead investigator wrote in charging documents.