"It's a shame. It gives a lot of these legitimate businesses a bad name."
Lonestar Autoplex was far cry to a legitimate business according to police. The used car lot has been open only a year and during that year they prayed upon would be car buyers by selling vehicles they weren't suppose to.
"It was a blatant fraudulent set up where this person was using the dealership as a front."
Laredo investigator, Joe Baeza says after many complaints had come from people saying they were victims of fraud the department took notice and started investigating.
"The dealership didn't have the authority or title to sell these vehicles, so people were out of the money they put upfront or making payments toward."
According to police, after people bought cars from the lot the owner, Robert Perez Junior and his staff would give buyers receipts for payments made toward the vehicle. A lot of buyers though nothing was wrong, but for people who paid for a vehicle upfront they never received a title. Sales manager, Matthew Salias says that is a red flag.
"Titles should only take 30 days from the time they file out the paperwork."
Salias has sold cars for 25 years in Laredo and says the easiest way to avoid being scammed is doing research.
"Make sure the vehicle isn't under someone else name. There’s a way to run the history, or the dealer can do it for you. People just have to be careful."
With tax time here, people may be looking to buy a new or used vehicle, so be careful before you become a victim of fraud.