PHX car dealer shut down after accused of fraud

Posted at 6:32 PM, Jan 07, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-07 20:46:35-05

A troubled South Phoenix car dealer has agreed to shut down, according to the Arizona Attorney General’s Office.

Prieto's Auto Sales, located near 35th Avenue and Broadway, has been accused of taking advantage of customers since 2006.

Over the years we've heard from dozens of angry customers who say Prieto's mislead them, refused refund deposits, sold defective cars, and altered contracts.

The business has been the subject of at least three state investigations.

Three different Attorneys General--Terry Goddard, Tom Horne, and Mark Brnovich--have each obtained judgments against the company and its owners for violating the Arizona Consumer Fraud Act.

The most recent was in July 2014. 

Owners Gustavo and Rita Prieto agreed to stop violating Consumer Fraud Act and pay restitution of $106,000.

The AG says the practices continued, fielding more complaints in the year that followed.

The agency also says it stopped receiving payments in March 2015 and only $9000 had been collected.

In November 2015, Brnovich's office asked a judge to hold Prieto's in contempt of court and order that they be shut down.

In a consent judgment released on Thursday, Gustavo and Rita Prieto have been barred from selling and financing cars in Arizona.

They have also been ordered to pay restitution for the additional complainants who were affected after the July 2014 agreement.

Victims have until March 2016 to file a complaint with the AG to be eligible for repayment. File a complaint here.

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