I work for an automotive restoration company which specializes in buying and selling antique and exotic cars. We were all trained to keep an eye out for the rare find that would be perfect for the business and I had been given the job of scouring the “For Sale” ads online and in print for vehicles to buy. As I learned the business, I also learned why my boss kept the number for a Sacramento criminal attorney handy.
For several months, I had been making purchases for my boss, from advertisements for cars I had found online and was thrilled when an ad I had placed to sell one of the restored vehicles got an immediate response. It was my first such attempt to attract the right buyer for a very expensive Ferrari and moving into selling vehicles would mean much more money for me in the form of a high commission on the sale.
I took the same precautions when selling the vehicle as I had when purchasing vehicles for my boss to restore. I made an appointment to meet the buyer in safe, public place in the middle of the day. My buyer appeared to be a wealthy businessman and was very interested in the origin of the car, who I was representing, seeing the title for the vehicle and asked the usual questions most buyers would ask. Even when the buyer pulled out a police badge, I didn’t think anything was wrong, but would soon find out that I was being arrested for attempting to sell a stolen vehicle.
To say I was in shock would be an understatement. Thankfully, when I was able to call my boss, he immediately called his attorney who met me at the police station. It turned out that for quite some time, completely unknowingly, the restoration company I worked for had been buying vehicles to work on from a large car theft ring. It took several months, but the attorney was able to sort through car titles and sales receipts and working with my testimony, was able to clear myself and my boss of any wrongdoing.