Man uses Honda Mall of Georgia to con on Craigslist - CBS46 News

Man uses Honda Mall of Georgia to con on Craigslist

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A man in Gwinnett County has been using Craigslist to con would-be customers into giving him deposits on cars from the Honda Mall of Georgia, according to the Gwinnett County Police Department.

Honda Mall of Georgia employees told police that several customers came in looking to buy two specific cars, a 2002 Honda Accord and a 2002 Ford Ranger. Apparently, Jeff Manders posted these vehicles for sale on Craigslist and provided a number to call.

Three potential buyers met Manders at the Honda Mall of Georgia dealership on Aug. 2, gave him deposits on the cars and signed a bill of sale that had a forged signature of Honda's sales manager. Manders told his customers he would meet them later to complete the sale. He never showed up.

On Aug. 4 and Aug. 5, the three victims individually contacted Gwinnett Police Department about losing money through a Craigslist scam involving the Honda dealership. Each reported giving Manders varying amounts of money. One person gave him $800, another gave him $1000 and the third victim handed over $1,800.

"Those victims provided a check with money and gave the check to him," said Corporal Edwin Ritter. "He then signed some type of sales paperwork, forging the sales manager's name to this paperwork."

Manders orchestrated his scheme by heading to the Honda dealership, writing down the cars' vehicle identification numbers and their descriptions, then posted the ads on Craigslist with lower prices than the dealership listings. A representative from the Honda Mall of Georgia said employees were aware of the ad and thought the scam was harmless until they realized Manders had taken deposits of money.

Honda's General Manager, Lee Compton said he could not comment on the alleged scam since it was an open investigation.

"This one here sounded legitimate," said Ritter. "They met at a dealership. He posed as a dealer. He has experience as a dealer, and everything apparently sounded legitimate to these folks."

Manders contacted CBS46 News late Thursday. He said he is a legitimate wholesale car dealer and planned to buy the vehicles from Honda but the deal fell through.

"I look forward to returning the money and resolving this," said Manders. He said he planned to turn himself into authorities by Monday.

The Gwinnett County police department has several warrants out for Manders - three theft by deception warrants and three first-degree forgery warrants. Manders also has a forgery warrant from DeKalb County and a probation violation warrant issued by the U.S. Marshall's Service.

Any other potential victims of Manders' scams should contact Sgt. Conlon with the Motor Vehicle Theft Unit: 770-513-5354.

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