Ex-Spartanburg Auto Auction owner accused of check fraud - FOX Carolina 21

Ex-Spartanburg Auto Auction owner accused of check fraud

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Michael Wolfenbarger listens to proceedings at his bond hearing in Spartanburg. (Feb. 14, 2013/FOX Carolina) Michael Wolfenbarger listens to proceedings at his bond hearing in Spartanburg. (Feb. 14, 2013/FOX Carolina)
SPARTANBURG, SC (FOX Carolina) -

The former owner of Spartanburg Auto Auction was in court Thursday after being charged with 14 counts of fraudulent checks.

Michael Wolfenbarger appeared before a Magistrate Court judge, where prosecutors said he bilked thousands of dollars from car dealerships.

Prosecutor Hunter Bloom said Wolfenbarger was the owner of the auction house and would take the cars and titles from the dealerships and sell them in good faith. He said that recently began bouncing checks to the dealerships, totaling $42,000.

However, a bookkeeper for the Dave Edwards dealership said that amount is small compared to what his dealership is owed.

"Mr. Wolfenbarger also owes us around $91,000 at Toyota and $27,000 at our Hyundai store," the bookkeeper said in court. "This is for vehicles he sold for us."

In court, Wolfenbarger said the auction house was going under and he has been trying to make everything right.

"I've been out collecting debts on money and cars every day," Wolfenbarger said.

Mason Motors, who founded the Spartanburg Auto Auction, said in a statement to FOX Carolina that Wolfenbarger has signed the business over to them, and they're working to rebuild the company:

"Our corporation is pleased to know that justice has begun its process with the previous owner of Spartanburg Auto Auction, Mr.Wolfenbarger. Lewis Mason founded this company over 25 years ago, and has been in business for over 63 years. Mr. Wolfenbarger purchased the auction from Mr. Mason in February 2007, six years ago. We are beginning the process, even as being a victim ourselves, in trying to rebuild the company that was founded on honesty and integrity. We are glad to announce that we will reopen the auction on the 21st of this month. We look forward to serving everyone again."

Wolfenbarger is being held at the Spartanburg County jail on $750,000 bond.

Prosecutors said there are 13 more cases against Wolfenbarger that are being processed.

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