Arizona Connection owner arrested

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GILBERT - A Valley business owner at the center of multiple 3 On Your Side reports has been arrested.

Gilbert police took Stanley Torgerson into custody Tuesday, May 3, 2011, following a nine-month long fraud investigation.

He's now facing 50 felony counts of fraudulent schemes and artifices, 49 felony counts of theft, one felony count of illegal control of enterprise and one misdemeanor count of theft. 

Torgerson sat down with 3 On Your Side two years ago when we began looking into one of his businesses, International Classic Auctions, or ICA.

Since then, several more customers have come forward with complaints about ICA and another one of Torgerson’s businesses, Arizona Connection.

Sally McCarthy purchased a 1964 Ford Mustang through Arizona Connection’s websites in June 2010.

She paid $18,000 for the car but never received it.

“It's very disappointing. It’s quite stressful,” she said. “And it's extremely annoying.”

Torgerson told 3 On Your Side he couldn't come up McCarthy's car because the owner of the Mustang died, and that the family was fighting over the estate.

Torgerson told us he’d turned matter over to his attorney, but our story took a strange turn when the man who was supposed to be dead called us after our report aired.

“I was stunned when you told me about my death,” William Cain said outside his home. “And I was equally surprised when I found out the car had been sold.”

3 On Your Side tried numerous times to speak with Torgerson again, but could only reach him by phone.

McCarthy and dozens more customers were included in the Gilbert Police Department's investigation.

Detectives tell us customers claim they've been ripped off to the tune of $500,000.

Here’s what the county attorney’s office had to say about the arrest:

“On 5-3-11 Gilbert Police arrested Stanley D. Torgerson (65) of Gilbert, without incident on a valid warrant which was issued in reference to an investigation that began in August 2010.    Stanley Torgerson was booked into the 4th Avenue Jail on 50 felony counts of Fraudulent Schemes and Artifices, 49 Felony counts of Theft, 1 felony count of Illegal Control of Enterprise and 1 misdemeanor count of Theft. 

Gilbert Police began an investigation into the business dealings of International Classic Auctions (ICA) and Arizona Connection in August of 2010 which are owned and operated by Torgerson.  Approximately 50 victims from four states, Canada and another from England have been identified with losses of over $700,000 from the two investigations.   Torgerson operates the businesses out of 1265 S. Gilbert Road, Gilbert.  Torgerson took in vehicles on consignment and resold the vehicles at local and out of state auctions.  Torgerson failed to pay some of the victims for the vehicles which were sold at these auctions, as well as failed to deliver vehicles to others after the sale. “

Oct. 21, 2011
3 On Your Side is continuing to follow this case. We will air an update.