Motor Vehicle Commission reaches deal with Auto Plaza USA

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - Another state agency is taking action against a Nicholasville car dealership accused of defrauding more than a thousand customers.

WKYT'S investigative team has been looking into Auto Plaza USA for months. Earlier this year, customer were hit with an unexpected bill from the Department of Revenue that said they hadn't paid the correct amount on their car taxes; further investigation found that Auto Plaza had allegedly changed numbers given to the Department of Revenue, leaving customers to foot the bill.

The Department of Motor Vehicle Commission oversees car dealerships in Kentucky; it has the authority to take away a dealership's license. During a meeting of the commission on Friday, the group met to finalize a deal with Auto Plaza USA. The deal will have Auto Plaza USA pay the $465,000 in taxes they are accused of scamming customers out of --plus thousands more money in fines and penalties.

Commissioner John Mark Hack says this is a fast way to get customers their money back. "Customers are going to be made whole, and they are going to be made whole more quickly through relief of the outstanding tax liability and penalties and interest by the practices committed by the actions of Auto Plaza USA."

The commission has agreed to allow Auto Plaza to stay open because they believe that's the only way the dealership can pay back the hundreds of thousands of dollars owed.

Last week, Attorney General Andy Beshear held a press conference announcing a million dollar lawsuit against Auto Plaza USA. This Motor Vehicle Commission says the route the AG's office took wasn't necessary and they have this situation under control. The AG's office released a statement saying, "We filed our necessary action earlier this month against Auto Plaza USA to protect the more than 1,400 consumers and seek restitution for them. Auto Plaza's actions violate Kentucky's Consumer Protection Act, which the AG enforces. This office will continue its lawsuit until every consumer is made whole by the company's deceptive practices."

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