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Used car dealer loses Mesa business, $110K over fraud violations

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PHOENIX – The Arizona Attorney General’s Office has barred a used car salesman from dealing in that business again, citing fraud violations committed against buyers.

Eligible customers who bought cars from Pacific Auto Sales at Country Club Drive and Broadway Road in Mesa will be awarded $30,000 in restitution and the state will collect $80,000 in civil penalties, prosecutors said this week.

Santiago Montelon will no longer be allowed to engage “in the business of selling or financing used motor vehicles or owning a used car dealership,” the office said Tuesday in a press release.

According to court records, Montelon changed the mileage on nearly two dozen vehicles to reflect lower numbers from April 2014 to December 2017.

The state also accused Montelon of including “impermissble” late fees, ignoring the used car lemon law and failure to disclose finance terms.

Montelon, prosecutors said, bought high-mileage vehicles at auctions, altered the odometers then advertised the vehicles at an online ad site.

Customers have been contacted, the Attorney General’s Office said.

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