WREG uncovers new complaints against Nationwide Auto

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Lamonte Gray is accused of theft, forgery and facing other charges connected to selling cars with bogus titles.

He was supposed to be back in court Tuesday, along with another defendant, Geno White, but that didn't happen.  It's possibly because of new complaints and alleged crimes WREG uncovered.

The sign outside of Nationwide Auto Dealers in West Memphis, Arkansas was flashing 'open,' but a worker decided to close when WREG showed up earlier this week.

The NewsChannel 3 Investigators went looking for Andrew Collins or Lamonte Gray.

Customers tell WREG they've bought cars from Collins, Gray or others but haven't been able to get their titles.

"I trusted these people," said Carlis Stanton.

Stanton says she paid more than $4,000 in cash for a car that's now sitting in her garage. "I paid $4,300 for that car."

Stanton says she found it on Facebook, through Geno White.

White, along with Gray, was hit with multiple charges in 2017 for selling salvage cars without disclosing it.

"How could you be facing criminal charges and still be out here doing the same thing?" Stanton asked.

Stanton says she had no idea about the history of Nationwide, or the people behind it.

Andrew Collins does have an Arkansas license, but he and Gray were fined $90,000 by Tennessee regulators for acting as unlicensed dealers.

Collins was even flagged for no further licensure in Tennessee because of so many complaints.

"One of the victims sent me a text message to look up Gray, and that's when I found the news clipping," added Stanton.

Stanton was referring to the WREG story where Gray took off running after WREG caught him coming out of jail in November.

Stanton's story is like all the other customers, except she says after buying the car from a location on Pleasant View in Memphis, she was directed to go to West Memphis, Arkansas to obtain a title.

"He told me state trooper would be there to meet me, and they would inspect the car at that time. I would then receive the proper paperwork to go and register my car," Stanton said.

She says she still doesn't have a title. Her supposed drive out tag is from Tennessee, but with an Arkansas address.

"Other people have gotten tickets for driving with these fake drive out tags," said attorney Matthew Jones.

Jones is with the Memphis Area Legal Services and has worked with numerous Nationwide customers in the past.

He's gotten several complaints recently about Nationwide, and he's encouraging customers to also contact law enforcement.

"If these individuals are not deterred by the money judgments or the civil fines, then the only thing that's going to deter them is if they're in jail," Jones said.

Stanton has talked with regulators in Arkansas and Tennessee, along with the police.

"It is understandable that the money means nothing to them, so maybe jail time would," she said.

Lamonte Gray and Geno White are scheduled to be back in court May 24th.

Nationwide customers who feel they've been the victims of theft, or other fraudulent activity should file a report directly with MPD's Economic Crimes Division on the eighth floor at 170 North Main.

Concerned customers can also contact Memphis Area Legal Services at (901)-523-8822.

Jones says it's important to research vehicle history when buying a car, and never pay an individual without getting a title and other documents first.

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