Do I have recourse against someone who scammed me into buying him an expensive car?

Recently I had a boyfriend offer to buy me a very expensive car. He took me to the dealership, where I drove the car and fell in love with it. As we were drawing up the paperwork, he informed me (in front of the dealer) that he was waiting for a wire transfer to come through and didn't have the cash available. He requested I finance the car and he would pay it off in a week. I signed the paperwork for the loan (car is in my name). Days after, I lost my job. The money he promised never appeared. Within a few days of purchase he claimed the car as his own, even to the point of handling all communication with the dealer on my behalf. It's been a month now and I am stuck with a car I cannot afford to make payments on. Do I have legal recourse against either him or the dealer for this?

Los Angeles, CA -

Attorney Answers (3)

Athina Karamanlis Powers

Athina Karamanlis Powers

Fraud Lawyer - Beverly Hills, CA
Answered

The simple answer is yes but we need more facts.
As a California Attorney and one of the very few that are Fraud Examiners ( CFE member of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners) I can help you with this problem. http://sdmcduff.com and http:// karamanlispowers.com

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William Nicholas Blasser

William Nicholas Blasser

Fraud Lawyer - Diamond Bar, CA
Answered

Sorry to hear you are having to deal with such a frustrating situation. You may have legal recourse against the dealership and/or your boyfriend, but the facts you have set forth in your question are not specific enough. I would need to know more about what was said and who was present at the dealership when the car was purchased. I would also like to know what sort of things your boyfriend did "on your behalf" regarding the transaction. I have represented auto dealerships and consumers in the past concerning car transactions and am very experienced with these types of cases. If you would like to discuss this further, please give me a call for a free thirty minute consultation.

Cordially,

William Blasser

David Lawrence Berke

David Lawrence Berke

Fraud Lawyer - Beverly Hills, CA
Answered

You absolutely have a claim against the man who I assume (and pray) is no longer your "boyfriend." The concern there is that it sounds unlikely that he has any money, making it difficult to induce someone to file a lawsuit against him on your behalf. As for the dealer, that's a more difficult issue. On the facts you've provided, I'm not sure you have a claim against the dealer, but here's another idea: Try to enlist them as an ally. Unless you give this car back and negotiate a "buy-out," it is going to be repossessed, and your credit seriously affected. Try to work with the dealer, telling them that the "last thing you want is a lawsuit." The dealer will properly hear that as "the first thing you want is a lawsuit," and may -- and I emphasize the word "may" -- be willing to work with you. Good luck.

Professional Rules of Ethics require me to advise you that this is an offer of possible representation.

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Criminal charges for fraud

Fraud is a white collar crime in which someone deceives another to secure unlawful or unfair benefits, such as financial or political gain.

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