Texas TV reporter investigates Wounded Warrior Craig’s List post
The latest information on the use of veteran’s as straw (fake) buyers to purchase luxury vehicles for export to China, Russia and other international markets heats up with this televised news report on the various ploys and potential pitfalls of purchasing cars in your name for sale to exporting auto brokers.
Watch this video:
The profits run to $50k or more, but the individuals using their own name, and auto insurance to buy luxury vehicles for export overseas get $500.00 and a potential windfall of problems beginning with auto insurance surcharges, excise or personal property taxes on the vehicle registration for a car they no longer have in their possession and that’s just the beginning.
As some of these companies advertising on Craig’s List will insist they are legal business entities, when the car title is never transferred to their company name, the shell game of who is paying the tax on the profit becomes a paper trail of denial and finger-pointing, often leaving the unsuspecting “buyer” in a world of hurt. Bill of Sales and quasi contracts defined as demand papers if the “buyer” fails to produce the vehicle purchased with the auto broker -exporters funds, fail to outline the re-titling process or anything resembling a proper buy-sell arrangement between two parties. There are no specific employment terms or 1099 tax forms signed during the transaction, another red light as the IRS might scrutinize this definition of an employee versus independent contractor, when using company funds and set schedules for pre-arranged appointments. Some of the “buyers” have even been stiffed part of their fee, and others total the pending tax liability as more than the $400-$500 earned for their efforts.
Banned Luxury Car Buyers include family members
Once the vehicle hits the port with a Bill of Lading to set sail, the buyer’s name is added to an auto makers manifest of individuals banned from purchasing another luxury car of that make, or possibly any other associated brand, as many of the German, Italian and English car makers are owned by the same company. This list may include other people living at the same address, sharing the same phone number or email address.
The folks at USAA, the largest insurer of military personnel, are aware of the scam targeting their members, and have turned the issue over to their legal department and the federal authorities, after one to many calls from duped clients. While the car is in the buyers name it is required to be insured, adding more expense to the buyer, and potentially an offense if multiple vehicles are purchased without a proper business license in the buyer’s name.
In Virgina, where “MARK” lives, the Department of Motor Vehicles is busy trying to figure out how to unravel the title process for cars purchased in the “buyers” name with funds from a third party business in possession of the vehicle.
EASY Money never is…
While MyCarlady has had numerous calls regarding this situation from those already caught in the web and others trying to understand their potential liability, the age-old adage remains; “If it’s too good to be true, it probably is.” and the minimal money being offered by the brokers is not going to cover the costs down the road when it blows up.
Sarah Lee Marks is MyCarlady. She has over 23+ years of experience. She writes about cars, and is a staunch consumer advocate on car related subjects. MyCarlady offers free car buying advice, and private, auto-related services to help you maintain your personal or commercial vehicles. Contact Sarah Lee for more information at sarahlee at mycarlady dot com. Join the MyCarlady newsletter to be kept up-to-date on this and other important car information. ———————————————————————————————————————————————————————————–