Man arrested for swindling dozens out of cars

January 31, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
On Thursday, a break came in the case of a car dealer who picked up and moved out, leaving dozens of people without their money or their cars. Sunnyvale police believe they have the man behind this rip-off.

Police say the man who swindled more than 40 people out of their high-end cars is being held at the Santa Clara County Jail in San Jose.

Ameen Wisal, who also goes by Andy Paul, is charged with six counts of grand theft. Wisal ran Sunnyvale Motorcars -- an auto consignment company -- on El Camino Real. Thursday, Sunnyvale police arrested Wisal who is accused of taking dozens of customers on a very costly ride.

"The vehicles were sold, cash was collected and money was kept by the car lot owner and not given to the victims," said Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety Cpt. Dave Verbrugge.

Many of the victims even gave Wisal their car titles, or pink slips. Then in early December, the car lot was completely empty. He and all of the cars were gone.

"Everyone coming by asking, 'Where's my car? What happened? Are they still here?'" said Neil Musngi from British and European Auto Repair.

Neelu Velamuri was one of them. She left her GMC Yukon on the lot in October along with her pink slip. She told us, "We trusted this person because he called and said he would do the job for us."

Velamuri was one of the first to report Wisal's disappearing act to the police. But it took nearly two months, and two Sunnyvale detectives, working full time on this case, to navigate the confusing maze of contracts and accusations.

"We were lucky. At least we got the person. I mean he's behind bars," said Velamuri.

The suspect will be arraigned Friday afternoon. Bail is set at $500,000.


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