Identity of odometer-rollback salesman discovered
Texas Department of Motor Vehicles investigating potential odometer fraud reveal
HOUSTON – The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles has opened an investigation into a used-car lot first exposed by Channel 2 Investigates.
A man we only knew as Mike was caught on camera telling our undercover producer he’d switched out the odometer on a vehicle.
A Tomball man says Mike tried selling him two vans with rolled-back mileage.
“The message to these people would be, we are watching, the media is watching, the public is watching and eventually you are going to be dealing with law enforcement on a case like this,” said Bill Harbeson, director of the Texas DMV’s Enforcement Division.
Since our story aired, Texas DMV investigators have been in touch with several people who say they purchased cars with rolled-back miles from Texans Motors Inc.
Channel 2 Investigates discovered the salesperson who ran away from questions last month is a man named Eyad Qassas.
A Facebook photo posted by a local title company identifies him by this name.
According to business filings with the Harris County Clerk’s Office, Qassas owned a business called Ritz Auto Sales ran a business called Ritz Auto Sales on the Gulf Freeway until at least 2009.
Texans Motors Inc., where he was found to be selling vehicles recently, is registered to another man. But that location is not registered with the Texas DMV as a dealership. Instead, a San Antonio address is registered for Texans Motors Inc.
“We're not sure exactly yet what the operation was going on in the Gulf Freeway in Houston. It is not legal by our standards because it's not a licensed location,” said Harbeson.
The mailing address on file, however, with the DMV for Texans Motors is a residential Houston address, which also shows up as a possible home address for Qassas in search engines.
Qassas was not home when Channel 2 Investigates went by for additional comment on Wednesday.
The owner of the title company that posted a photograph with him to Facebook said her only relationship with him is to transfer titles for vehicles that he sells.
The DMV encourages anyone who suspects they’ve been a victim of odometer fraud to call their hotline at 1-888-DMV-GOTX or file a complaint online.
Consumers can look up to see if a dealership has a license to sell cars at the DMV website.