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Former car dealer indicted

September 2nd, 2015 by WCBC Radio

Fernando Manvel Smith, a former owner of Pristine Pre-Owned Autos Inc., now Rubicon, has been indicted by the Mineral County Grand Jury on felony counts of accessory before the fact to false pretense and conspiracy, according to the Mineral County Prosecuting Attorney’s office. Smith and employees Brandon Thomas Bowman and Sintel Antonio Gibson, all of Keyser, allegedly purchased cars from private owners and — to avoid paying transfer taxes — resold them without transferring titles or registering with the department of motor vehicles, according to Jay Courrier, prosecuting attorney. Bowman was indicted on felony counts of accessory before the fact to false pretense and conspiracy and Gibson was indicted on felony counts of false pretense and conspiracy. “There were allegations that they messed with the odometer,” said Courrier.

Smith and Pristine co-owner Jamie Crabtree, also of Keyser, were indicted on 29 felony counts of false pretense and 29 felony counts of conspiracy by the May term of the Mineral County grand jury.

The indictment against them was continued in Mineral County Circuit Court until September to allow enough time for the West Virginia Supreme Court to rule on the search warrant issues filed in a writ of mandamus case.

Pristine filed a notice of appeal for the return of property seized during an execution of a search warrant on the business Oct. 23.

The notice of appeal is for the complaint of the writ of mandamus and request for injunction that was denied by Mineral County Circuit Court Judge Lynn Nelson in December.

That means a Supreme Court judge could order state police and the prosecuting attorney to return the items to Pristine.


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