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Minnesota AG accuses Midwest Car Search of deceptive sales, targeting Spanish speakers, people with poor credit

Minnesota AG Keith Ellison sues Fridley car dealership, owner for deceptive practices
Minnesota AG Keith Ellison sues Fridley car dealership, owner for deceptive practices 02:13

FRIDLEY, Minn. — Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison and his team announced a lawsuit against a Twin Cities-based car dealership.

"MCS [Midwest Car Search] broke almost every rule in almost every sale they made," Ellison said Tuesday morning at the state capitol. "With this lawsuit today, we're putting a stop to it."

The AG office claims Fridley-based Midwest Car Search broke the law by misrepresenting the quality of cars it was selling, along with dishonest service contracts and high-interest rates. According to the lawsuit filed this week, MSC fraudulently sold more than 3,000 vehicles to Minnesotans from 2017 to 2022. It names the dealership and its owner, Scott Spiczka.

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"This is a long-term systematic pattern of deception targeting Minnesotans, often by not always, with limited language skills," Ellison said.

Attorney General Keith Ellison WCCO

The lawsuit aims to provide restitution to consumers and stop the dealership from alleged illegal practices. The AG offices estimates the value of vehicle service contracts illegally added to customer purchases to be $4.5 million. 

"I felt used. So I called the attorney general," victim Henry Holmes said. 

Holmes, a 77-year-old from Minneapolis, says he bought a vehicle from Midwest Car Search and had issues with it from the start; despite being sold a warranty. 

"I wanted to test drive. And no – the car is certified there ain't nothing wrong with it bring it back. Plus, they sold me a warranty," he said. "I took the car back the very next day with the problems I had. They refused to fix anything. They told me they weren't going to do anything to it. That's when I told them I'm going to call the attorney general."

It's a similar story with Manuela Enriquez, who says she worked with a Spanish-speaking salesperson, but when it was time to sign, the paperwork was in English.

"I took it to a mechanic who told me, who asked me, why I even bought this thing," Enriquez's translator and AG office staff member David Pegg said. "He said it didn't work at all and I shouldn't be driving it at all." 

Tuesday morning business appeared to be moving as usual at Midwest Car Search. WCCO called the dealership and asked to speak to owner Scott Spizka but was told he was out. Spizcka has not returned WCCO's call. 

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