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My daughter and I sold her car in late September to someone on Craigslist. The car was a lemon so we sold it to Mr X for half of what it would have been. He in turn sold the car 2-3 days later to Ms Y for double the price. We received a call today from Ms Y saying that there is an issue with the car and she found out that it was a lemon when she took it to a dealer to be looked at. Mr X apparently made a new bill of sale and put all my information on it as if I sold it to her. He even forged my signature. She saw him sign it herself. When she asked whose name it was he said it was his girlfriend’s name. Not sure why she went through with it, but she did. She called him today to tell him she found out about it being a lemon and wants her money back. He became angry and threatened to call the police and file harassment charges. I should also note that when he signed my name, he misspelled my last name and the bill of sale is from the neighboring state (not even my state). This poor woman is out a lot of cash and my name is on this. Not sure what to do? I have a picture of his business card. He works for a large real estate company in town and apparently sells cars on the side. I know forgery can be a felony.

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    I hope you reported to the department of motor vehicles in your state that you no longer own the car. – Gerard Ashton Dec 6 '18 at 12:12
  • Yes, when we got another car we turned the tag in. – Tracy R Dec 6 '18 at 13:22
  • Turning the tag in isn't quite the same as reporting the sale of the vehicle. Turning the tag in just means you're not going to drive it anymore as a resident of your state. You could be storing it in your back yard and not driving it, or moving it to a different state. – Gerard Ashton Dec 6 '18 at 20:06
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The first step you could take would be to report the forgery to the police with the name of the person committing it, and the name of the buyer and what you heard from her that she observed him doing and saying.

One thing that this does is that it commits your statement to a third party in a verifiable way before a dispute arises between you and either of the other two people involved. You will probably be asked at some point to verify your statement in an affidavit much as you would in an identity theft case.

The police may decide the pursue the case and arrest the man who forged his signature and charge him with forgery and/or fraud. Or, the police may decide (as they often do in white collar crime cases) to decide that it is a civil matter and take no action.

Until someone sues you, you don't really have to take any other affirmative action. If the woman who ultimately wound up with the car doesn't sue you and the man who bought the car from you doesn't sue you, then you don't need to do anything else.

If you are sued, you have a solid defense and a statement about what happened that is supported by a pre-litigation complaint filed with the police.

If the man does try to report her to the police for harassment, once the police investigate they will very likely arrest him for forgery in that case and not treat it as a civil matter, because the police don't like to be used to facilitate the perpetration of a fraud.

  • Thank you ohwilleke. This is great advice and I will file a police report. – Tracy R Dec 6 '18 at 10:20

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