SPECIAL REPORT: Charlotte used car financer accused of false repossessions

- A Charlotte used car salesman and financer is accused of pocketing the down payments of several of his former customers, and then repossessing the vehicle he sold them without cause.

Kizzy Woodard, Anthony Smith, and Alendra Hill tell FOX 46 they’ve all filed civil lawsuits against Jayme Infanzon for breach of contract or deceptive trade practices after allegedly losing thousands of dollars to Infanzon after doing business with him over the past several years.

“I’d tell anyone, if you see him, run, cause he’s a scammer,” Smith said.

“He made me feel like I was nothing, my money, me as a customer, I didn’t matter,” Woodard said.

“He’s not a businessperson at all,” Hill said.

Documents from the North Carolina Secretary of State show that Infanzon registered a business called Great Cars Charlotte Inc. at 5801 N. Tryon Street in 2012. He also registered a business called U.S. Financing Inc. at the same location.

That property now appears abandoned, the building is overrun with weeds, has several broken windows, and boarded up rooms, as Great Cars Charlotte Inc. was dissolved after less than a year of operation, according to state records.

Kizzy Woodard told FOX 46 she bought a used Mercedes from Great Cars Charlotte in 2013, giving a down payment of $3,000 and financing the remaining balance.

“Less than 24 hours after I had the car, all the lights came on inside the car,” Woodard said.

Woodard said she left the vehicle with a mechanic at the business, and that Infanzon called her a few hours later saying there was nothing wrong with it.

“I went back to pick it up, and all of a sudden the lights come back on again,” she said. “I brought the car back in, handed over the keys, and asked to speak to [Infanzon] to see about getting my down payment back, or at least part of it.”

Woodard said she was told Infanzon would contact her, but that she didn’t hear back from him.

Then, just two days after she purchased the Mercedes, Woodard received a letter from Great Cars Charlotte notifying her they had repossessed the car from her while it was still at the business.

The reason Infanzon gave Woodard for the repossession?

“He said I needed to pay $300 in order to obtain the car back for a lack of insurance.”

Woodard provided FOX46 her policy from Southern General, which she said proves the car was covered at the time of the repossession on June 2.

Out $3,000 for her down payment, Woodard said she had to get a loan just to get another car. Wanting her down payment back, Woodard went to the business and tried to talk with Infanzon on the lot, but no avail.

“He said ‘we have nothing to talk about.’ He jumped in his porche, dropped the top and drove off into the sunset. He made me feel like I was nothing, like me as a customer, my money didn’t matter.

Woodard said Infanzon’s business then sent her an unsigned check for $400. Along with the check was a letter, which told Woodard if she were to cash the check, she agrees to never return to the business location, never file any complaints and agrees to hold the business 100 percent harmless of any wrongdoing.

State documents show Great Cars Charlotte filed to be dissolved on June 1, 2013, the day after Woodard bought the Mercedes. A bill of sale shows the business re-sold her repossessed vehicle to somebody else nearly three weeks later.

“An honest person like me working a nine to five, I don’t make much money. I thought I had gotten a nice car, something that I wanted. Never did I think I was going to be taken advantage of.”

Anthony Smith tells a similar story.

In May of 2014, Smith said he drove past Capital Auto Repair on North Tryon Street and bought a used 2003 GMC Yukon from Infanzon. According to his bill of sale, Smith gave Infanzon a down payment of $1,700 and financed the remaining $6,493.

“When I first got the truck, I was excited,” Smith said. “I was like, ‘yeah I got my truck.’”

Infanzon gave Smith the signed odometer disclosures, which he shared with FOX 46, listing the truck as having 221,000 miles at the time of purchase.

Over the next several months, Smith said the truck had numerous problems, which cost him more than $1,000 in repairs. Frustrated, he told FOX46 he took the truck to his Chevrolet dealership on South Blvd. to get a trade in value. That’s when he says a salesman told him that his truck had fewer miles on the odometer at the time of trade in that it did at the time when he bought it from Infanzon, giving him an issue of “true mile unknown”.

“He said your truck is worth nothing but a dollar right now. I spent money on something that’s worth nothing.”

Furious about the one dollar trade in value, Smith lodged a complaint against Infanzon with the Division of Motor Vehicles. They told him they couldn’t do anything because the truck was more than 10-years-old.

As soon as the DMV investigation was over, Smith said Infanzon began following him, showing up at his home and work. Angry that Smith turned him into the DMV, he said Infanzon told him he wanted the full payment on the truck, or he was taking the truck back. Smith told Infanzon that they were under contract on financed payments and that he could follow him to the police station nearby if he had an issue.

Five says later, Smith woke up to find an unpleasant surprise.

“I come outside and my truck is gone. So I’m like, ‘he came and got my truck!’”

Smith later received a notice of repossession by Infanzon, which said the truck had been repossessed for a default in payments and that he would have to pay the full amount if he wanted it back.

But Smith says his money orders and his payment history show not a single payment was missed from when he bought the truck to June 2015 when it was repossessed.

Smith said he ended up being fired from his job due to a lack of transportation.

“It hurt, you know,” he said. “It kinda bothers you a lot.”

Alendra Hill has also filed a lawsuit against Infanzon after buying a Honda Accord from him in 2014.

She said her payments were on time, but received a repossession notice that destroyed her finances.

“I had no transportation back and forth to work,” Hill said. “I lost my place, lost my apartment. I’m a single parent with three kids.”

Faith Fox is a civil attorney based in Charlotte representing Woodard, Smith and Hill in their lawsuits against Infanzon, which were filed in May. She said she’s confident they’ll win in the courtroom.

“My clients have all been sold faulty car from the beginning and when they start to demand some type of justice or service, he basically then repossesses the car.

FOX46 reached out to Jayme Infanzon multiple times starting in May. He first claimed not to know who the people suing him were, even though Mecklenburg County records show he was served with two of their lawsuits the week before.

At first a follow-up email went unanswered, but weeks later Infanzon finally responded stating:

It’s unfortunate that you and Fox News chooses to report on such false accusations that anyone at any time can conjure up for the purpose of profit. For this reason, I have no comment for you and will answer any and all questions at the right time in court. Please by very careful not to join in on this slandering of a hard working Charlottean.

In a third email, Infanzon said he is contesting all the allegations against him and that the people suing him did not follow the rules of their agreements.

Hoping to speak with Mr. Infanzon in person, FOX46 paid a visit to Capital Auto Repair, which is the last known location he was known to be selling vehicles from. The owner, Miguel Gamez, who is also listed as a defendant in the lawsuits filed by Smith and Hill, said Infanzon was renting space from him, but recently closed his business. He said all car sales were handled by Infanzon on his own.

Bill Melugin: “A lot of people were complaining about the business practices going on here.”

Miguel Gamez: “I heard, that’s why we had an issue with him, told him he had to go.”

Gamez went on to say that Infanzon was still moving out after failing to pay rent last month.

It’s unclear whether or not Infanzon is still selling vehicles in the Charlotte area, but state documents show he transferred the registered address of his US Financing business to a private apartment building in Uptown. He has removed any information about US Financing Inc. or Capital Auto Repair from his LinkedIn page.

As for his former customers, they hope their stories serve as a warning to other Charlotteans.

“Don’t do business with him, I don’t want you to be a victim like I was,” said Woodard.

“People work hard for their money,” Smith said. “For him to do people like that, it’s just wrong.”

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