Police Put Brakes on Vintage Car Dealer

Police Put Brakes on Vintage Car Dealer

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News Specialist Jed Boal reportingState Investigators today walked into the pricey showroom of a vintage car dealership, and walked out with the owner in handcuffs.

The man faces charges that he sold the cars on consignment and did not pay the owners what they were due.

Deja Vu has already been shut down before. This time there are locks on the door. The state knows of 25 victims already, and there could be 25 more -- car owners who lost thousands of dollars.

A team of cops from the State Motor Vehicle Enforcement Division put the brakes on the high-end dealer this morning.

Investigators say Gerry Black sold classic cars on consignment. From Porsches to Cobras, Mercedes and Vettes, to GT Forties and Model Ts.

In July, the actual owners of the cars started to complain that Black wasn't coming up with their money for the sales, and that he wrote two bad checks totaling $50,000.

"When we came and talked to him he said he was going to take care of these loose ends and make sure everybody was satisfied. We made an agreement with him, gave him a deadline, and that deadline was not met," says Jodi Monaco with the Motor Vehicle Enforcement Division.

The division shut the business down October 15 and even posted it here on the door. But the spokesperson says he continued to sell cars online, and left the showroom open.

"We found out they were still selling cars in December, and that was beside the agreement we made with them. So, we came today to actually shut the doors so they would no longer be selling cars," Monaco says.

"Makes you feel used. I'll still trust people, but it makes you a little wiser," says John Trentman, a victim of Deja Vu's tactics.

Trentman took his 1964 Pontiac GTO to Deja Vu in March and agreed to accept $18,000 on the car -- listed for $23,000 once Black sold it.

The red muscle car soon disappeared from the showroom floor. Black told Trentman it was in storage, then said it was sold, and wrote Trentman a check for $18,000.

It bounced.

"There's so many people filing against him and no money to go around. If I got a dollar, I'd be surprised," Trentman says.

Black will be charged with acting as a dealer without a license, and two felony charges for writing bad checks.

He also faces potential charges for theft by deception and forgery. The MVED is trying to track down all of the owners of the cars. Anyone who has done business with Deja Vu in the last six months should call the MVED at 801-297-2600.

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