Man accused, charged in connection to corrupt auto business in Fortville

Daniel Trappe was charged in connection to a corrupt auto business in Fortville. (WISH photo)

FORTVILLE, Ind. (WISH) — Imagine buying a car, paying for it, and never getting the title or the car. Police said that happened to multiple people in Fortville.

Some of the victims told 24-Hour News 8 they did not want to go on camera. They said they are upset and frustrated by what happened.

One victim lost $17,000 dollars and another victim said he has to get paper plates each month because he doesn’t have a title.

Prestige Automotive was empty Friday evening just one day after police raided the place.

“Over the course of the past year we found out that there were a lot of improper business dealings going on, multiple victims and multiple issues,” said Major Patrick Bratton, Fortville Police Department.

Police launched an investigation after receiving multiple complaints filed with the Secretary of State Dealers Division.

Court documents show customers reported paying for a car and never getting the title, forged paperwork, and how Prestige Automotive never paid off their loans from previous vehicles.

“Several people were getting calls from their previous lenders saying that their vehicles had never been paid off and they were still expecting the money and the dealership wasn’t doing what they were supposed to do,” he said.

The trouble did not end there for those customers.

“Some people would call saying their accounts went into collection because they thought it was paid off and it never was,” he said.

Police said 38-year-old Daniel Trappe is now charged with 28 counts, including corrupt business influence, theft, and forgery. He was the general manager. Police said the owner was not charged because he did not know about the criminal activity.

“There may be more victims out there,” said Bratton. “If someone does feel like they were done wrong from Prestige Auto, please feel free to give us a call and we’ll continue if we need to.”

Police said Trappe is currently serving time in prison for an unrelated crime.

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