KANSAS CITY, Mo. - An elaborate scheme involving the stealing personal customer information to secure cash from bogus car loans was uncovered when an alleged victim simply checked their credit report.
Terry Lee Morrow, 25, owned and operated Edge Auto Sales, a used car dealership in Blue Springs and then in Independence. Investigators with the Missouri Attorney General's office believe Morrow stole personal information from at least 44 customers and used it to secure bogus car loans. Investigators believe Morrow then sold the fraudulent loans to four auto finance companies for $470,000 in cash.
One of the victims contacted the Missouri Attorney General's office after doing a credit check and discovering a suspicious car loan. In a Tuesday news conference, Chris Koster said this is a reminder to consumers as to why it is important to do regular credit checks.
"Fortunately, my office has been able to negotiate agreements with all four of the financing companies to remove the loans from the consumers' credit report so that their credit scores will not be harmed," Koster said.
Morrow was arrested in Illinois. Missouri prosecutors have filed 17 felony counts against him. He is expected to be brought back to Missouri to face charges.
Koster expects the number of victims to grow.
"We believe that this is the largest identity theft case ever prosecuted by state prosecutors in Missouri," he said.
If you have had business dealings with Morrow or filled out financing information on Edge Motors' website, you are urged to call the AG's office, 800-392-8222.
Consumers can access a free credit report by going to www.annualcreditreport.com or by calling 877-322-8228.