CHARLOTTE, NC (FOX 46) - The owner of a Charlotte used car dealership has been arrested on felony charges after several reports by FOX 46 Charlotte exposed questionable business practices being taken against his customers.
An investigator with the North Carolina Department of Transportation confirms he has charged Evengii Desiatnikov, owner of Auto City LLC with two felony counts of obtaining property by false pretense in relation to allegations uncovered in a series of FOX 46 Charlotte investigative reports.
Jail records show Desiatnikov was arrested by MSCO deputies around 11:30 a.m. Thursday. He is currently being held on a $5,000 secured bond.
Mecklenburg County records show warrants for Desiatnikov’s arrest were filed on January 20th. Copies of the warrants were not immediately available because Desiatnikov has not yet been arrested and booked yet.
Under North Carolina law, these charges are class H felonies punishable by four months to two years in prison for each count.
The DOT investigator told FOX 46 Charlotte he is presenting the case to the District Attorney’s office, which will make the ultimate decision on whether or not the case will be prosecuted.
Former employees who spoke with FOX 46 Charlotte's Bill Melugin say they believe Desiatnikov was selling knowingly faulty salvage vehicles to unsuspecting customers. In those cases, former customers allege the vehicle titles were sometimes being pushed through as "clean" despite having serious damage.
Customers who spoke with Melugin also claimed the vehicles they purchased from Auto City broke down numerous times after purchase, leaving them without transportation, and in a financial hole.
The dealership, located at 4700 Independence Blvd., is also accused of defaulting on a loan, yet still trying to collect payment from customers and sell vehicles on its lot. Customers who reached out to FOX 46 Charlotte said they suspect Auto City was trying to sell off its inventory and pocket their payments, rather than pay off its business loans.
Right now FOX 46 Charlotte's Bill Melugin is continuing to get results by speaking with investigators about plans for the district attorney's office to prosecute.
Look for his full report tonight on FOX 46 News.