Attorney General Xavier Becerra accuses the dealership group of false advertising of credit and discount programs, making false statements on credit applications, and deceiving customers regarding add-on products and additional charges.
Paul Blanco operates a total of 10 dealerships in Northern, Southern, and Central California as well as Nevada -- including in Oakland and Fairfield.
The Attorney General's office accuses Blanco's dealerships of targeting vulnerable, predominantly low-income consumers with subprime credit.
The lawsuit charges the company with making false statements on credit applications, including by deceiving lenders about the value of vehicles and the consumer's ability to repay the loans. Becerra's office says that allowed the company to boost their profits through improperly financed sales and increased the risk that the consumers would be saddled with loans that they could not afford.
The Attorney General also says that Paul Blanco also tricked customers into paying thousands of dollars for extra add-on products, such as service contracts and GAP insurance, by telling customers that these add-ons were required by law, or by simply concealing the extra charge.