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Tuesday, 17 November 2015 00:00

AG Brnovich Seeks to Shut Down Used Car Dealer

Mia Garcia

 AG Brnovich Seeks Contempt of Court Order Against Used Car Dealer 

Phoenix, AZ - Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich filed a petition asking a court to shut down a Phoenix used car dealership accused of repeatedly defrauding Arizona consumers. This is the State’s 3rdenforcement action against Prieto’s Auto Sales, Inc. and its owners Gustavo Prieto and Rita Prieto.
“This office is not going to tolerate repeat offenders who ignore court orders and continue to scam Arizonans,” said Attorney General Mark Brnovich. “We are committed to enforcing judgments and getting justice for consumers.”
The Petition for Order to Show Cause alleges Prieto’s and its owners disregarded court orders by continuing to violate a Consumer Fraud Judgment and the Arizona Consumer Fraud Act. The State has requested a court order requiring the owners of Prieto's to show cause why they should not be held in contempt for multiple violations of the State’s July 3, 2014 Consent Judgment. 
The State alleges that Prieto’s violated the 2014 Judgment by:
  • taking loans on vehicles and then selling vehicles without clear title;
  • failing to adequately inspect vehicles and repair major defects before placing vehicles for sale;
  • failing to honor statutorily mandated warranties;
  • selling vehicles with salvage titles without disclosing title defects;
  • refusing to timely return refundable deposits;
  • knowingly issuing consumers refund checks drawn upon bank accounts containing insufficient funds;
  • selling vehicles without obtaining title;
  • failing to disclose all significant contractual terms to consumers relating to the purchase of vehicles;
  • altering contracts signed by consumers without first obtaining consumers’ informed consent; and
  • denying consumers an opportunity to test drive vehicles.
The Defendants have also failed to comply with the payment terms of the 2014 Consent Judgment, according to the Petition.  As of November 2015, the owners of Prieto's have only paid $9,000 of the total judgment owed to the State, which is $106,361. They still owe $97,361 plus interest.  The owed funds have been designated for consumer restitution, civil penalties, and attorneys’ fees and costs. 
If found in contempt, the court may order Prieto’s and its owners to pay civil penalties of up to $25,000 per violation. The State is also requesting consumer restitution, attorneys’ fees, and an order banning the owners of Prieto's from continuing to operate as a motor vehicle dealer.
This case is being handled by Assistant Attorney General Alyse Meislik. 
If you believe you have been the victim of consumer fraud, you can file a consumer complaint by contacting the Attorney General’s Office in Phoenix at (602) 542-5763, in Tucson at (520) 628-6504, or outside the Phoenix and Tucson metro areas at 1(800) 352-8431.  Bilingual consumer protection staff are available to assist. Consumers can also file complaints online by visiting the Attorney General’s website at

For additional information, members of the media may contact Mia Garcia, Spokesperson & Director of Media Relations at 602-339-5895 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

For a copy of the Petition for Order to Show Cause,CLICK HERE.
Last modified on Wednesday, 18 November 2015 08:23
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Editor Lynne LaMaster


Prescott, Arizona