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Attorney general sues Warren County used car dealership over title complaint

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Posted at 2:24 PM, Apr 12, 2019

LEBANON, Ohio — Ohio's attorney general filed a lawsuit this week against a Warren County car dealership and its owner, who are accused of failing to deliver vehicle titles to a customer.

The lawsuit accuses #1 Auto Exchange in Franklin and owner Catherine Manning, of Middletown, of violating the state's Consumer Sales Practices Act and Certificate of Motor Vehicle Title Act.

A customer complained to the attorney general's office in 2017 that the company had never provided a title for a car purchased at the dealership, according to a news release from Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost.

Manning responded by claiming she didn't have enough money to refund the customer's purchase, Yost said.

A state program that helps used car buyers resolve title problems has already paid more than $7,000, and Manning has agreed to pay $100 per week plus $1,500 in attorney fees and investigative costs, according to Yost. The attorney general's office received $2,700 from Manning before she stopped making the payments in July 2018, officials said.

The lawsuit seeks to recover the remaining amount officials said the state is owed, about $4,600, plus the attorney fees and investigative costs. Officials are also seeking an order preventing Manning from operating her business until she repays the find, complies with Ohio consumer protection laws and files a surety bond.

"If you want to get along in this life, don't mess with another person's money, spouse or car," Yost said in a written statement. "This dealership hit two out of three, and we're going to court."