Scammy Used Car Dealer Also Employed By IRS

The owner of a former used car dealership in Arizona that admitted to defrauding dozens of customers just so happens to also be a long-time employee of the federal government, helping consumers with financial issues through an IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center. 

The Arizona Republic reports that the owner of the now-defunct Uncle Joe’s Auto Sales dealership in Phoenix, dealership in Phoenix continues work for the IRS, despite admitting to taking advantage of poor and non-English speaking customers and being party to a consumer-fraud lawsuit filed by state prosecutors.

To make matters worse, the report also alleges that the woman’s husband, who was included in the lawsuit, may still be working in the auto sales industry despite a court order barring him from doing so.

According to the Republic, the IRS confirmed the woman has been an employee since 1998 and continues to work for the agency. However, officials declined to provide information on her specific duties.

The IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center in Phoenix, one of dozens across the country, functions to give taxpayers the option of talking face-to-face with an IRS representative to resolve issues or ask questions on tax law.

A spokesperson for the Arizona Attorney General says that the office will initiate an investigation into the man’s employment and whether or not it violated the terms of a settlement baring him from working in the used-car sales industry in the state.

Under the couple’s previous settlement with the state, a violation of the terms could result in $335,000 in civil penalties.

Issues with Uncle Joe’s Used Auto Sales began just eight months after it opened in February 2014, as it racked up dozens of consumer complaints, the Republic reports, including 30 filed with the Arizona AG.

According to the AG investigation, the company allegedly used Craigslist ads to get customers on to the lot. Once there, the couple persuaded individuals to buy vehicles, making promises to make repairs that were never completed.

The pair was also accused of overcharging customers hundreds of dollars in license, filing, registration, and other fees.

As part of a settlement to resolve the lawsuit, the owner admitted that she “approved, endorsed, directed, ratified, controlled or otherwise participated in the acts and practices of Uncle Joe’s.”

In the end, the pair agreed to pay $70,000 in restitution and at least $30,000 in penalties to settle the consumer-fraud lawsuit.

Phoenix auto dealer who scammed customers works for IRS [The Arizona Republic]

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