3 On Your Side

UPDATE: AG's Office shuts down used-car business

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(3 ON YOUR SIDE) -

Kelly Tinley said her experience with a used-car car business called Uncle Joe's was not a good one.

"It was horrible from the word go," she told 3 On Your Side.   

However, Tinley and other consumers won't have to worry about Uncle Joe's because the Arizona Attorney General's Office just released a judgment indicating it has banned the owners of the company from ever running a car business in the state again. The owners are listed in the judgment as Gina Colombo and Joseph Colombo, who is also known as Joseph Careccia. 

[READ: 3OYS: Complaints rack up against Uncle Joe's Auto Sales]

Tinley said while she's glad to hear the news, she wishes more would have been done. 

"I would like to see the owners in jail, really," she said.      

3 On Your Side has investigated and exposed Uncle Joe's in the past for reportedly duping customers out of their money. In those reports, consumers with little or no credit told 3 On Your Side how they handed over large cash deposits in order to purchase a car only to be told later they really didn't qualify.  Then, Uncle Joe's would refuse to return the cash deposits, pointing to a large sign attached to a wall indicating "no refunds."   

[READ: 'Uncle Joe' out of used-car business, ordered to pay restitution]

When 3 On Your Side showed up with one of those customers who had tried unsuccessfully to get their money back, a refund was issued in front of our cameras despite that "no refund" policy. The manager claimed it had nothing to do with 3 On Your Side. 

"The reason you gave the refund is because we're here," 3 On Your Side's Gary Harper told the manager. "The refund happened because we are here. Don't sit there and tell me you would have given his money back and given him a refund because you know that's not true."    

According to the judgment, the owners of Uncle Joe's agree to reimburse customers $70,000. It also indicates the owners can never have anything to do with the "sale or financing of motor vehicles again," which means their car-selling days in Arizona are over.   

Tinley is glad something has been done because she believes so many consumers like her were duped and ripped off. 

"I can't even estimate how many customers have been financially devastated by them," she said.    

The Arizona Attorney General's Office said that if you were ripped off by Uncle Joe's, it wants to hear from you within the next 90 days. If you have supporting documentation, you may be eligible to be part of the restitution agreement and receive money.

Copyright 2015 KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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