DENISON, Iowa -- A former Denison auto dealer was placed on probation Tuesday for fraud.
Robert Adams, 58, pleaded guilty in Crawford County District Court to a felony charge of fraudulent sales practices, admitting that on Sept. 20, 2017, he sold an insurance policy to a customer and did not send in the application or premiums to the insurance carrier.
District Judge Steven Andreasen gave Adams a deferred judgment, placed him on probation for three years and ordered him to pay a $750 civil penalty. Adams previously paid restitution to victims.
As part of a plea agreement, 11 counts of first-degree theft, three counts of second-degree theft and one count of commission of a specified unlawful activity were dismissed.
Adams was charged in May 2018 after the Iowa Department of Transportation's Bureau of Investigation & Identity Protection found that funds paid by customers for title transfers, warranty contracts and protection plans were kept by the dealership and not forwarded to the agencies that provide those services, leaving customers without the coverage for which they had paid.
The dealership also sold vehicles that had outstanding loans and then failed to pay off lending institutions, leaving customers unable to get a clear title to the vehicles.
The IDOT revoked Adams' licenses for dealerships in Denison, Ida Grove and Manning, all of which have since closed.