FBI investigating used car business on north side

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Sept. 22, 2015) – An Indianapolis car dealership is under investigation by the FBI. For several hours on Tuesday, federal investigators raided a company called Elite Imports.

The purpose of the raid remains unclear, but the raid did spark a flood of complaints from customers who showed up throughout the day to talk about a long list of issues they've had with the business.

Seeing the company’s business records seized comes as no surprise to customers like Glenn Gay.

“Well it’s long time overdue,” said Gay. “They’ve done a lot of people in this town bad.”

Glenn bought a car from Elite Imports, but says the business ripped him off by not giving him money for his trade-in.

“I bought a car and they were supposed to take money off the new car for the trade-in and they didn’t give me no trade-in value on the other car,” said Gay.

The FBI raided both the Elite Import location at 46th and Keystone, as well as a second location on Pendleton Pike.

Chontae Lester says the business failed to properly repair a BMW she bought on their lot.

“They said they fixed my car and charged me 400 dollars and it’s still messed up,” said Lester.

Another customer told us she couldn't get the proper paperwork for her purchase, including the title from the dealership, leaving her mother furious.

“She’s on a fixed income and you took her money. Now you got the feds here cause you did some illegal stuff. That’s wrong. That’s wrong,” said Regina Jones.

The FBI will only confirm they’re conducting an investigation, but wouldn't explain why they raided the business.

Still, many customers are obviously not sad to see the Elite Imports under investigation.

“They’re getting what they deserve because they’re a shady business,” said Lester.

“I was going to buy a car here and I’m glad I didn’t since the feds are here. It’s over,” said Wade Powell.

Managers with Elite Imports were on scene earlier early in the day, but they drove away without talking about the case.

“This business has an F rating with us. We’ve had a number of complaints over the last several years and what we found with a number of those complaints is, they have just not responded to the complaints,” said Tim Maniscalo, President of the Central Indiana Better Business Bureau.

For years, Elite Imports has had an F rating with the better business bureau. A quick search of the bureau’s website shows a slew of customer complaints.

In 2013, one customer wrote: “This dealership is selling vehicles that have serious mechanical issues. They are also selling fraudulent warranties with the vehicle.”

In 2012, another customer shared this experience: “I brought the vehicle to my mechanic… for a second opinion before completing the purchase. I was told that the damages to this car would exceed $5,000 in parts and labor before being road-ready or safe.”

“There’s a lot of great used car places out there and you’re going to get a great deal sometimes on a used car, but then there are those who aren’t all that great so you want to check that company out just to make certain that you know who you’re dealing with before you spend your money,” said Maniscalo.

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