Authorities Charge Dealer with Illegal Billing
The North Carolina Department of Motors Vehicles License and Theft Bureau inspectors arrested the owner of ES Motorsports Inc., Ehsan Shahnawaz, 32, on Feb. 22. He is charged with illegally billing customers for tax, tag and title fees for 87 vehicle sales.
Records show Shahnawaz opened the business located in Greensboro at 707 Norwalk St. in 2008, selling mainly used BMWs and high-end sports cars. In addition to sales from the vehicle lot, he also sold vehicles via the Internet.
The arrest followed a routine dealer audit by DMV inspectors and included an investigation into the dealerships sales records over an 18-month period. Inspectors charged Shahnawaz with selling vehicles to out-of-state customers, charging them illegally for North Carolina taxes, titles and tags, when the vehicles were not being titled or licensed in the state. The dealer also charged other fees not allowed by North Carolina law.
In total, Shahnawaz was charged with 87 felony counts of obtaining property by false pretense, 12 counts of common law forgery, and six counts of common law uttering. Misdemeanor counts included two counts of having open titles, 25 counts of charging hidden fees, 4 counts of failure to inspect vehicles prior to sale, and 13 counts of improper issuance of a 30-day marker.
Following his arrest, Shahnawaz was taken to the Guilford County Detention Center and held on a $95,000 secured bond. License and Theft Bureau inspectors are continuing their investigation into the dealerships activities.