Car Dealer Pleads Guilty to Communications Fraud

Car Dealer Pleads Guilty to Communications Fraud

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OGDEN, Utah (AP) -- Three years after state regulators shut down his Willie's Used Cars dealership in Riverdale, Bill Hodson has pleaded guilty to six felony charges, including second-degree felony communications fraud.

He also pleaded guilty Monday to a cocaine possession charge stemming from his May arrest in South Ogden after he was pulled over by police for a "gas skip" -- pumping gas and not paying for it.

Other felony counts stemming from the dealership operation and other charges from the May incident were dropped as the result of a plea bargain.

Sentencing was set for Oct. 3 before 2nd District Judge John R. Morris.

Hodson, 46, originally was charged with 11 felonies regarding eight victims. Authorities said they represented allegations from 100 customers.

The dealership's failure to deliver title, pay off trade-ins and other breaches led to Willie's closure by the state Motor Vehicle Enforcement Division in August 2002.

Many of Hodson's former customers were stuck with the liability for the financing of a vehicle they never received, sometimes along with the debt for a trade-in they no longer had.

After a lengthy investigation by the Motor Vehicle Enforcement Division and the Weber County Attorney's Office, the fraud charges were filed in November.

Hodson has been held in jail without bail since the May drug arrest.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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