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Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Affidavit: Owner of bankrupt dealership sold cars he didn't own, Decatur Daily article August 15, 2016

 Blogger Comments:  

Great Story, Sounds like this DA and his team of assistant DA's are on it.  Keep digging in the trenches there's more.

One only have comment for the Decatur Daily.  You forgot Alabama Law Enforcement Officer Steven Ziaja.  Ziaja has promissory notes totaling $846,000.00.  We don't want him to get jealous due to a lack of attention.

The criminal case against Greg Steenson, part owner of a bankrupt used car dealership, includes allegations detailing the sale of vehicles he did not own, his failure to provide buyers with a title and forged signatures on tax documents.
More than $22,440 of the thefts Steenson is accused of committing through Performance Auto Sales are detailed in the criminal case.
The affidavits for Steenson’s arrest on 11 charges list at least eight victims, though they don’t include the value of all nine vehicles he’s accused of illegally selling or trading when Performance Auto Sales didn’t have clear titles for them.
Steenson, 47, of Decatur, is charged with eight counts of first-degree theft, a Class B felony; and with one count of second-degree theft and two counts of second-degree forgery, Class C felonies, according to the Morgan County District Attorney’s Office. Steenson, who was released from jail Thursday on $285,000 bail, couldn’t be reached for comment.
Priceville Partners LLC, which owned the dealership and locations in four other Alabama cities, filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the Northern District of Alabama earlier this year listing more than $5.4 million in claims from creditors, including Morgan County Sheriff Ana Franklin.
Steenson also is being sued by creditors, including Harold Jeffreys, a Decatur businessman and former banker who owns 60 percent of the company.
Jeffreys claims Steenson, a 40 percent owner, owes him $3.2 million from unpaid loans, according to the lawsuit. Jeffreys also claims Steenson misappropriated the money from the company and Jeffreys, court records show.
In the criminal case, DA’s investigator Johnny Coker wrote in an affidavit that Steenson sold or traded at least three vehicles through the dealership in April and July 2015 without a proper title because they were leased from another dealer.
Court records don’t reflect from where the 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe and two 2014 Silverados were leased when Steenson reportedly made the transactions, and DA Scott Anderson didn’t return calls for comment Friday.
Steenson also is accused of illegally selling at least one vehicle that was owned by Lynn Layton Chevrolet, court records show.
In October, Steenson sold a 2008 Chevy Colorado for $2,499, but at that time the title was being held by Lynn Layton, which Performance Auto Parts never paid for the truck, Coker said in an affidavit.
Layton didn’t return a call for comment Friday.
Steenson also is accused of trading a vehicle without a proper title because he previously had pawned the 2015 Ford F150 to another individual, according to Coker’s affidavit. Steenson reportedly traded that truck for a 2015 Silverado in October.
Four other illegal transactions are alleged in Coker’s affidavits, including the trade of a Honda Civic for a Jeep to Anthony Shaneyfelt in October.
Shaneyfelt and three others purchased or traded vehicles with Steenson at the dealership between October and December, but they never received titles because Performance Auto didn’t have them, Coker wrote.
“I still don’t have a title,” Shaneyfelt told The Decatur Daily.
Shaneyfelt said he knew Steenson before their interaction at the dealership.
“This is definitely something I don’t enjoy having to deal with, but I don’t get happy seeing anybody arrested,” he said. “I’m really disappointed in the decisions (Steenson) made. I hope he can get his life back on track.”
The legal battles surrounding Priceville Partners aren’t Steenson’s first encounter with the court system.
He served time in prison after pleading guilty in 2002 to bank fraud conspiracy charges related to a check kiting scheme and the presentation of false financial statements to banks for loans.
Steenson was sentenced to four years and three months in federal prison on the charges and ordered to pay restitution of $723,293.64 to Union Planters Bank and $4.5 million to The Bank, according to court records.
The DA’s Office is handling the theft investigation on its own, Anderson has said.
Because of the tie Franklin has to the ongoing civil litigation, she had Steenson transferred to Limestone County Jail until he made bail following his arrest late Tuesday.
In the civil case, Jeffreys’ is the largest of 21 claims by 17 individuals and companies, including several from Morgan and Lawrence counties.
Franklin’s $150,000 claim stems from a loan she made to the company last year, while Lynn Layton is listed as a creditor with a $111,700 claim.
Steenson also is accused of forging signatures — one in January and one last year — on two titles he submitted to the Alabama Department of Revenue, Coker wrote in court records.
The trucks are identified in affidavits as a 2015 Ford and 2014 Silverado.
“The owner’s signature on the truck was falsified,” Coker wrote in affidavits for each alleged forgery.

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