Car dealer accused of fraud
The owner of a Lee County car dealership has been arrested and charged with defrauding customers. Brian Swanson, 61, the owner of Classic Cars of Florida, 14985 South Tamiami Trail, Fort Myers, has been charged with grand theft, forgery, title fraud and scheme to defraud.
Detectives with the Lee County Sheriff’s Office Auto Theft Unit say Swanson, of 12597 Shannondale Drive, Fort Myers, promised to sell the luxury cars of two of his customers. Swanson sold a 2002 red Corvette for $32,000 and a white 1973 Jaguar XJ12 for $43,000, officials said. But instead of giving those car owners their money, minus his commission, detectives say Swanson pocketed the cash and altered the vehicles’ titles to try to cover up. Each time the original owners inquired about their vehicles, Swanson was reportedly evasive.
Officials say the investigation revealed Swanson sold the Corvette at his dealership in June 2007 and the Jaguar over e-bay in January 2008 to a man in Italy.
Detectives are interested in speaking to anyone who feels they have been defrauded at Classic Cars of Florida. They can call the Lee County Sheriff’s Office Auto Theft Unit at (239) 477-1260 or send an e-mail to ATU@sheriffleefl.org
Source: Lee County Sheriff’s Office