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Posted: 5:24 p.m. Friday, Aug. 3, 2012
SMYRNA, Ga. —
A local auto broker is jailed in Cobb County, having been transferred from Fulton County where he faces similar charges. Johnny Cummings is charged with theft and fraud in several jurisdictions after a string of suspicious car deals. "We've never really had a problem like this in our 81 years until now. And it's the same guy doing it," said John Bratschi, sales manager of Capital Cadillac in Smyrna. As an independent car salesman, Cummings would receive a finder's fee for bringing in buyers to dealers like Capital. He handled the deal for Kenan Spears, 25. Spears bought a used crossover from Capital. He said Cummings then offered him another deal. "He basically played me. He wasn't a man of his word and he just conned me," said Spears. Spears told Channel 2 consumer investigator Jim Strickland that Cummings convinced him to sign loan papers on a BMW 750i. Spears never received the car, although Cummings is accused of taking it from the lot without returning it. The $24,000 Spears borrowed is also missing, although Spears is on the hook with a local credit union for the money.
"Now I have to deal with it. It's on my back, it's not on anyone else, it's on me," he said. The dealership said Cummings took a 2011 Camaro to a prospective buyer to inspect but never brought it back. Both cars are now listed as stolen. Bratschi said they think Cummings sold the cars to unwitting buyers who did not know they were stolen. "Nothing is done properly on these cars. No insurance, no tags, they're driving free and clear," said Bratschi. "I believe if we found one or two deals; my rule of 20 is there's 19 or 18 more that we don't know about," said dealership fraud specialist Barry Bannister. Strickland found booking photos for Cummings with similar charges of fraud and theft in DeKalb, Cobb and Fulton Counties.
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