COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) — The owner of a now-closed car dealership was arrested in Lee County, Alabama and is fraud charges stemming from the sale of automobiles in Georgia.
Sama Duff Moore, 59, was arrested Thursday by U.S. Marshals in Alabama and charged with being a fugitive from justice. She was later extradited from Lee County to Columbus, Georgia.
According to Columbus Police Department, officers received reports from people earlier this spring claiming that fraudulent activities were happening at Sports and Imports. CPD said what started as a handful of victims has escalated into 21 total reports of fraud.
CPD investigators initially started collecting information from victims and banking institutions. During a search of the business in October, the property crimes unit found significant evident including financial records and witness statements; which reveal a total loss of $819,052.77.
CPD said the amount does not include the number of vehicles that were mistitled with several loans on them.
“The business itself is a consignment business, but they do vehicles and you know, we’re used to clothes, but this is with vehicles. So, people take their cars there to be sold with the assistance of Sports and Imports. So, sometimes the cars were sold without final permission from the owners. Sometimes with final permission,” Sgt. Jane Edenfield said. “However, the money that was received for the selling of the car never made it back to that original owner. Signatures were forged, bank accounts were opened, checks were bounced. It’s a variety of issues.”
Moore is now charged with the following:
- Five counts of identity fraud
- Nine counts of felony theft by conversion
- Eight counts of felony theft by taking
- Four counts of theft by deception
- Four counts of deposit account fraud
- Eight counts of first-degree forgery
Edenfield said the investigation is still ongoing and that she does rule out more potential victims stepping due to the increasing publicity associated with the case.