UPLAND (CBSLA) — The showroom at CNC Motors in Upland used to be full of luxury cars, but on Wednesday it was boarded up and cleared out as the Department of Motor Vehicles investigates dozens of customers who claim they were scammed.
According to investigators, the customers allege that the company sold their cars through consignment agreements, failed to tell them about the sales, never paid them for their vehicles and did not provide the vehicles' titles to the buyers.
"He kept saying, 'You know what? I'm gonna pay you Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday," John, a CNC customer, said.
But John said CNC never paid him the hundreds of thousands of dollars he said he was owed.
Daniel Hurlbert, who runs the YouTube channel Normal Guy Supercar, inadvertently got involved with the scandal when his subscribers started telling him their horror stories on camera.
"This is many tens of millions of dollars that are gone," he said.
Hurlbert even got Clayton Thom, the owner of CNC Motors, to explain on the channel what happened.
"I don't have these problems because I spent somebody's money taking care of myself," he said.
Thom told Hurlbert that he simply made some bad business decisions during the pandemic and intended to right his wrongs.
"Was I late? Yeah, I was," he said. "I'm sorry for that. If I need to compensate you for that, I will."
"Seems like it could be a like a robbing Peter to pay Paul situation," Hurlbert said.
"I really think it was a Ponzi scheme, that he was taking cars as consignments and then selling them," Greg Dexter, a CNC customer, said. "And then taking the money to pay off other people he owed."
Dexter said CNC still has not paid him after selling his 2017 Mercedes C63 AMG last year. He said it was initially hard to trust his instincts when the company game him the run around because of how they were praised in the sports car community.
"He had a great reputation and a large building," Dexter said. "So he looked like he was stable."
A request for comment from Thom's attorney was not immediately returned, and the DMV said it could not comment any further since the investigation was ongoing.
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