COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Columbus City Attorney Zach Klein is cracking down on a Southside scrapyard that he said accepted dozens of fraudulent vehicle titles or stolen cars for cash.
On Oct. 26, Klein’s office filed a complaint to obtain a preliminary injunction against Columbus Auto Shredding, which is under investigation for allegedly accepting at least 80 vehicles fraudulently for parts or cash. According to a release, Klein asked the court “to declare Columbus Auto Shredding a public nuisance, impose strict requirements on facility operators to verify Ohio vehicle titles and to cease certain operations until additional safeguards are implemented at the facility.”
The shredding facility, located at 2181 Alum Creek Drive, has been under investigation since July when Groveport police probed payouts for multiple towing companies for vehicles that did not match Ohio titles to the vehicles that were being junked, as well as accepting vehicles without proof of ownership to be scrapped. In August, the Bureau of Motor Vehicles reviewed dozens of Ohio vehicle titles submitted by Columbus Auto Shredding for junked vehicles and uncovered “massive amounts of fraud” and falsified vehicle titles.
The investigation details the following incidents of flagged titles:
- 17 titles that had previously been reported as stolen or lost by previous owners.
- 16 listed under a company without a signature from the company itself.
- 15 whose titles were missing the required notary
- 15 that were missing required labels for junk designation
- 11 that did not match the legal owner or seller’s signatures and were determined to be forged or falsified
- 3 signed by an incorrect person
- 2 bills of sale that included VIN numbers that do not exist
- 2 titles listing a different company name on the document than the legal ownership on file with the state
Investigators also claimed that Columbus Auto Shredding accepted as proof of ownership a title that included a VIN number cut from a previous sale and taped to the new document title.
Klein’s office also noted BMV investigators counseled Columbus Auto Shredding several times for failure to verify true Ohio BMV records, but the facility did not comply. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Nov. 14.