He’s going to be punished, but not as severely as some were hoping…
Consigning your classic car to a dealership might seem like a good, no-hassle way to sell it, but you still need to be careful. That’s clearly illustrated by the case of David Cotten, the former owner of Bay City Motor Company who just struck a plea deal with prosecutors in Michigan. On September 10, Cotten pleaded no contest to a charge of larceny by conversion greater than $20,000.
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Over a year ago, several customers of Bay City Motor Company accused Cotten of selling their cars and keeping the cash. Investigations by the Michigan Department of State Regulatory Monitoring Division and Michigan State Police were launched over one particular accusation.
As we covered before, previous news reports out of Michigan detailed several people’s experience with Cotten, claiming he swindled them out of large sums of money. One in particular was Allen Kayler of Arizona. The man consigned a 1976 Chevy Chevelle and a 1966 Chevy Nova to Bay City Motor Company, both pretty desirable cars. That was back in 2018.
Before too long, Cotten contacted Kayler with good news: a buyer was interested in both vehicles. The classic car dealer requested the Arizona man send both titles to him, however afterward Cotten stated the deal fell through. To keep the other man from requesting the titles be sent back, the dealer explained a lot of people were interested in the cars, which was a believable thing but was allegedly not true.
When the vehicles supposedly still weren’t sold in 2019, Kayler grew suspicious. After digging around, he found one car was registered to a new owner in Virginia and the other was registered in Utah. The asking price for both cars totaled $238,000.
Another man, who wasn’t named in local reports, successfully sued Cotten and won a civil judgment against the dealer for $253,000.
Why Cotten wasn’t charged for the other incidents of allegedly pocketing all the cash from selling other customers’ cars isn’t apparent. Sometimes the justice system is sloppy and haphazard, an unfortunate fact we all live with.
Source: ABC 12