Car dealer indicted on theft, bribery
The owner of a Grand Junction car dealership has been indicted for allegedly selling dozens of totaled vehicles to unsuspecting buyers without telling them how damaged the vehicles were.
Camden Page Fortney III, 66, 1911 Wingate Drive, also is accused of paying bribes to two insurance adjusters in exchange for them sending him “clean titles” rather than “salvage titles.” That allowed Fortney, the owner of Camden Motors, to receive more money when he resold the vehicles.
Fortney is charged with 23 counts of theft, commercial bribery, and conspiracy to commit commercial bribery.
The two adjusters, Terry Randall Robinson, 48, 596 Rambling Road, and Mary Catherine Cross, 48, of Arapahoe County, face multiple counts of commercial bribery and conspiracy to commit commercial bribery. Cross worked for Colorado Casualty Insurance Company, and Robinson was an independent adjuster who did work for Colorado Casualty.
Fortney and Robinson were arrested at their homes Wednesday and were released from the Mesa County Jail after posting $50,000 and $25,000 bonds, respectively.
Cross was issued a summons Thursday in Denver.
Reached at his Redlands dealership Thursday afternoon, Fortney told a reporter, “I’m not at liberty to comment.”
Robinson couldn’t be reached for comment.
The alleged scheme ran from 2005 through 2008 and involved 52 vehicles.
According to the state grand jury indictment, Fortney regularly bought wrecked vehicles, repaired them and sold them. In each instance in the case, Colorado Casualty declared the vehicles total losses.
Fortney, though, understated the nature and extent of the damage, often telling buyers the vehicles had sustained minor damage or had never been in an accident. In several instances, he told buyers the vehicles still had a full factory warranty. Factory warranties
on vehicles declared a total loss are normally voided, the indictment said.
One man who paid $18,500 for a 2005 Chrysler 300C showed Fortney a CarFax report indicating the car had sustained severe damage. Fortney, who bought the car for $3,000 from Colorado Casualty, told him that CarFax considered any damage to a radiator severe but insisted it was minor, according to the indictment.
Another man paid $17,950 for a 2006 Chevrolet Colorado pickup that Fortney claimed had sustained minor damage to its side and bed. In reality, the truck sustained caved-in front and rear driver’s side doors, fender, truck bed and bumpers, the indictment said.
Fortney paid $1,800 for the truck.
The man told authorities “he has taken his 5-year-old daughter places in that truck and felt awful that he put her in danger,” an attorney general prosecutor wrote in the indictment.
Authorities claim Robinson and Cross referred salvage vehicles with “clean titles” to Fortney, who in exchange paid them nearly $9,000 in “finder’s fees” and restaurant gift cards.
The alleged scheme was uncovered in February 2008 when Liberty Mutual Insurance Company acquired Colorado Casualty.
The person hired by Liberty Mutual to replace Cross received an e-mail from Fortney in
which he tried to recruit her into the scheme.
Colorado Casualty Insurance paid more than $500,000 to buy back the cars sold by Fortney in the scheme, the indictment said.