Colorado car dealer convicted for selling wrecked cars at clean prices

wrecked cars soldThe owner of Camden Motors in Mesa County, Colo. was caught repairing 52 wrecked autos, then selling them.

Camden P. Fortney III was convicted of 21 felony counts for his involvement in a scheme to sell salvaged cars to consumers. The indictment includes theft, commercial bribery and conspiracy to commit commercial bribery through 2005 and 2008.

The owner of the licensed Colorado motor vehicle dealer in Grand Junction, Colo. faced claims from adjusters with the Colorado Casualty Insurance Co. that he purchased wrecked vehicles by repairing and reselling them, according to the indictment. Fortney rebuilt totaled cars and sold them to unsuspecting consumers by understating the extent of prior damage. Sometimes he claimed the vehicles had a full factory warranty, according to the indictment. Camden did not title the cars as salvaged, but "clean."

Mary Cross and Terry Robinson, Fortney's co-defendants, pleaded guilty for their involvement. Cross and Robinson worked for Colorado Casualty Insurance Co. Cross plead guilty to commercial bribery, was sentenced to a four-year deferred prison sentence and was ordered to pay $12,300 in restitution. Robinson pleaded guilty to second-degree forgery and was sentenced to one year probation. He was ordered to pay $3,200 in restitution. Fortney III is scheduled for sentencing June 22.

Christopher Goetcheus, spokesman for Colorado Casualty, responded to the Camden auto scheme.

"Colorado Casualty has gone to great lengths to protect consumers in the time since this matter came to light, and has done so in full cooperation with the Colorado Attorney General's office," Goetcheus said in an e-mail with Consumer Ally. "Our most important concern was to ensure that the new owners had properly titled and roadworthy vehicles in the interest of the owners' safey. We located the owners, inspected the vehicles, and bought them back at fair market value."
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