AG Zoeller files lawsuits against local businesses

Luke's Family Motors in Highland, Indiana

HOBART | It was just a “day in the life” for the Indiana Attorney General’s Office as it completed its move from Merrillville to Hobart’s Police, Court and Community Complex.

Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller filed five lawsuits ranging from foreclosure consultants to violations by local used car dealerships in Lake County.

Hometown Motors in Gary and Luke’s Family Motors in Highland face lawsuits for allegedly taking advantage of consumers by rolling back odometers. The Attorney General’s Office said Hometown Motors and its owner John F. Petrassi are accused of knowingly reporting inaccurate mileage and year of a used vehicle and failing to provide titles to purchase vehicles.

Luke’s Family Motors, in addition to an accusation of misrepresenting mileage of a used vehicle, is accused of violating the terms of a previous settlement reached with the Attorney General’s Office.

“That will up the ante when it comes to penalties,” Zoeller said. “The first time we can usually work something out that makes it clear we’re paying close attention. The second time you’re in real trouble.”

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The National Odometer and Title Fraud Enforcement Association (NOTFEA) is a non-profit, professional organization formed originally in 1980 as the National Odometer Enforcement Association (NOEA).

The association is chartered as a non-profit corporation with the Commonwealth of Virginia and is registered as a 501(C)(3) organization with the Internal Revenue Service.

Membership in NOTFEA is restricted to individuals working for law enforcement and consumer protection agencies, licensing and motor vehicle departments, and private attorneys and investigators who are responsible for detecting, deterring, and prosecuting odometer, rebuilt/salvage, and other title fraud offenders under state, federal, and other applicable laws.