DMV Investigators Arrest Fresno Vehicle Broker on Multiple Charges of Grand Theft
California Department of Motor Vehicles
Media Relations Office
2415 First Avenue, MS F-122, Sacramento, CA 95818
Contact: DMV Media Relations
May 22, 2007
Sacramento – A seven-person team of investigators from the California Department of Motor Vehicles and the Fresno County District Attorney’s office has arrested 64-year old Allen Felch Jennings, an owner of Western Fleet Auto Brokers at 285 W. Shaw Ave, #102, in Fresno. Jennings was taken into custody Monday on an arrest warrant and charged with 28 counts of grand theft. He is being held at the Fresno County Jail on a $1,960,000 bond.
Investigators stated the case against Jennings came together quickly after they started receiving numerous complaints in mid-April. Jennings was allegedly brokering new vehicle deals with various other dealerships on behalf of customer-clients, collecting funds from either the new owners or financial institutions. He then deposited the funds in his own commercial account without paying off the dealers who sold him the vehicles.
Brokers act as agents between clients and dealers to acquire vehicles so their customers don’t have to go through the purchasing process. They make their money by charging their clients a fee for handling the process.
“Our team of investigators made this complaint a top priority in the Fresno area,” said DMV Director George Valverde. He continued, “As soon as the case facts became evident, we worked quickly to gather evidence and arrest the suspect. The protection of the vehicle-buying public is one of the department’s most important mandates, and we don’t hesitate to crack down hard on a licensee who tries to take advantage of any of their customers.”
Investigators say the total number of alleged victims could reach as many as 40, with total losses reaching more than $1 million.
Along with the arrest warrant, a search warrant was also secured and served at Jennings’ Fresno-area residence Monday morning, May 21.
Most of the vehicle dealers Jennings worked through to acquire vehicles for his clients are located in the San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose Bay Area.
DMV cannot provide photographs of any arrested suspects. Arrangements should be made with appropriate law enforcement agencies to acquire any booking photos per prior agreement.
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DMV is a department under the Business, Transportation and Housing Agency, which is under the direction of Secretary Dale E. Bonner. The DMV licenses drivers; maintains driving records; registers and tracks official ownership of vehicles and vessels; investigates auto and identity-related fraud; and licenses car dealers, driving schools, and traffic violator schools.
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