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FOX11 Investigates followup: Bill to crackdown on fraudulent car dealerships

Wisconsin state Capitol (WLUK file photo/Scott Hurley)

MADISON (WLUK) -- New legislation is being considered in Madison to protect car buyers in consignment dealer sales. The legislation was prompted by the failed Standard PreOwned dealership in Brown and Outagamie Counties in May of 2016.

Assembly Bill 852 got a hearing before the joint legislative Transportation Committee. The bill aims to allow the Department of Transportation to strip a license immediately from a consignment dealership for a reported violation, selling without a license, fraudulent vehicle titles or falsifying mileage information.

Currently the law allows suspected car dealerships to undergo a review process and remain in business for months before a hearing.

FOX 11 Investigates uncovered dozens of complaints filed against Standard PreOwned prior to its closing. Many of those complaints cited vehicle titles were not transferred. When the dealership licenses were surrendered in the midst of a law enforcement investigation in May of 2016, more than 20 individuals claimed they were not paid for their cars.

Representatives for the DOT spoke out in favor of the bill at the hearing, as did Trevor Bosar, who lost his car and money with Standard PreOwned. FOX 11 Investigates first profiled Bosar in 2016 and followed his efforts writing legislators, the DOT and the governor to encourage a change in the law.

"I give Trevor a lot of credit for pushing this forward," said State Rep. Andre Jacque, (R) De Pere, who co-sponsored the bill in the Assembly.

Locally, State Representatives Jacque and David Steffen, (R) Howard, are sponsors of the bill, along with State Senators Rob Cowles, (R) Green Bay, and Dave Hansen, (D) Green Bay--showing bi-partisan support.

Jacque tells FOX 11 he expects the transportation committee to move the bill forward so it could come up for a legislative vote in February.


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