I Billy Caldwell of BRC Auto's placed an ad on a website called Craigslist for the sale of a 2003 Freightliner Classic XL. I received a call from a potential buyer by the name of Joe Lopez of Midland Texas. Mr. Lopez said that he wanted to buy the truck and he would be making arrangements to come to Louisiana to pickup the truck later that day. I gave Mr. Lopez my name and the address were he would be picking up the truck. We agreed on the purchase price of $14,000 which was to be paid in full with a Cashiers Check at the time of pickup.
A couple hours later I received another call from Mr. Lopez, informing me that he wouldn't be able to make the trip to Louisiana until the next day. I informed Mr. Lopez that I had other potential buyers interested in buying the truck. Mr. Lopez then offered to send me half the money via bank wire the same day and he would be bringing the remaining balance the next day in the form of a cashiers check. I said no, over a dozen times, because I didn't know him, and it just seemed like more trouble then it was worth. I had potential buyers that were local. Mr. Lopez begged, and pleaded with me to agree to half the money to be sent via bank wire today. He gave me some sober story about how bad he needed the truck, and he even offered to pay me an extra $500 to agree and close, the deal. I turned down the extra $500, but reluctantly agreed to the bank wire for half the money, with the assurance that he would be picking up the truck the following day and he would have the remaining balance in the form of a cashiers check. I received the bank wire later that day. The next day I got a call from Mr. Lopez. He stated that he wouldn't be able to make it and informed me he would make it tomorrow.
When that day came. I got a call from Mr. Lopez stating he would try to make it to Louisiana the weekend coming up, which was 3 days away. Mr. Lopez never showed. I called Mr. Lopez, but got no answer until my forth try. Mr. Lopez claimed he ran into a bit of trouble and he would need a few more days before he would be able to come to Louisiana with the cashiers check and to pickup the truck. I explained to him that I needed the remaining balance for the truck and I informed him there would be no refunds. Mr. Lopez told me not to worry, anything and he would have my money and pickup the truck in a few days.
Days later he called to make arrangements for a friend, or employee of his would be bring me a Business Check and would be picking up the truck. I disagreed, because I was worried that the business check would not clear or be any good. So there was no way I was going to sign over my truck without verified funds to a complete stranger. Mr. Lopez then claimed he would need more time to make the trip.
I listed to excuse after excuse from Mr. Lopez. Days turned into weeks, and weeks turned into a month. After nearly a month of waiting for Mr. Lopez to bring the remaining balance and pickup the truck. I decided to sale the truck to another buyer, and I informed Mr. Lopez of this.
I have not committed a crime. I've been charged with third degree theft, in regards to a business deal arranged over the phone by myself and Mr. Lopez.
Mr. Lopez voluntarily wired funds from his bank account in Midland Texas to my bank account in Monroe Louisiana . I have never met Mr. Lopez. I have never been to Midland Texas in my life.
There is also a question of Jurisdiction. I've never been to Midland Texas, I've never done any business in Texas period. I don't know Mr. Lopez, nor have I ever met Mr. Lopez... Mr Lopez voluntarily had his bank in Texas wire funds to my bank in Louisiana......... Mr. Lopez filed a claim with The Midland Texas Sheriffs Department, that stated I stole the money from him.
I've been offered a plea agreement of 4 years probation,$8000 in restitution, plus court cost, and legal fees, and community service.
GET THE FULL STORY....