UPDATE 1/31/18 – Local body shop owner, Ivan Sanchez, back in jail again.
He’s charged with embezzling insurance money from at least four customers.
Tuesday, he was booked into the Oklahoma County jail, this time for ditching court.
He's charged with driving under the influence with a suspended license.
It's alleged he was driving drunk in a customer's car he was paid to fix.
The DUI case is separate from the criminal charges filed by Oklahoma's Chief of the Attorney General's Public Protection Unit, Julie Bays.
Those charges were filed on behalf of the customers alleging Sanchez defrauded them.
Court records show Sanchez keeps showing up late to court and Tuesday, his attorney withdrew from the case.
The judge threw the body shop owner back in jail and increased his bond.
Sanchez has until early March to find new legal representation.
We'll keep you posted on things.
5/2/17 - Ivan Sanchez finally surrendering to authorities Thursday.
The In Your Corner team learning body shop owner was in and out of the Oklahoma County Jail in less than an hour, booked and released on bond.
Later on that day he entered a plea of "not guilty" to fraud against four customers, including GW and Mike Mitchell.
It is alleged Sanchez pocketed tens of thousands of dollars, including insurance money.
Oklahoma’s Chief of the Attorney General's Public Protection Unit Julie Bays says the Mitchells and the other victims are her priority.
“Our office tries to get the consumer funds first because that's the most important thing is to make them whole again,” she said. “In white collar crime our preferred resolution is to get the restitution back to the consumer if at all possible [and] if not possible of course we would ask for jail time.”
Sanchez will get his next day in court later this month.
We’ll keep you posted.
Update 4/18/17 - Authorities are looking for Ivan Sanchez.
Tuesday the body shop owner was charged with 4 counts of embezzlement.
“You're looking at about $20,000 dollars in a week's time,” said Oklahoma’s Chief of the Attorney General’s Public Protection Unit, Julie Bays.
Her unit received 5 complaints, each one alleging the same thing.
“He would take people's cars, take the insurance proceeds, tell him he would fix the car, repair the car, but then he would sub it out or not do anything to the car,” Bays said.
It’s alleged Sanchez farmed out the work to other repair shops and then stiffed those body shop owners.
GW and Mike Mitchell say that’s what happened to them.
To add insult to injury they were forced to come up with an additional $4,000 to get their car back.
We’re hearing about more customer horror stories.
Remember Sanchez was picked up for driving under the influence with a suspended license.
Well get this!
It's alleged he was driving drunk in a car he was paid to fix.
“He apparently put 1800 miles on it,” Bays said. “Somehow he had gone somewhere with it and damaged the car severely, had cigarette burns in the seats, more outside damage, over $4,000 worth of damage.
The allegations keep piling up on Sanchez, who doesn't appear to be a U.S. citizen.
“We did not get into his immigration status,” Bays said. “We don't know what it is at this time, but we'll probably look into that at some point and let the Mexican consulate, which is required by law, know that he's been arrested.”
Bays and her unit believe there could be more victims out there.
They are asking anyone with complaints against Sanchez to come forward and contact their office.
File complaint here.
Update 3/24/17 - Last month our In Your Corner team told you Mike Mitchell and his dad GW were suing body shop owner, Ivan Sanchez.
Tuesday both sides went before a judge and that judge ruled in favor of Mike and his dad awarding them $6,500, plus court costs.
Remember, this whole mess started over GW’s missing 1951 Buick Special.
Our investigation revealed Sanchez pocketed $6500, but didn't do a lick of work and instead farmed out the paint job and repairs to a second body shop only to stiff that shop owner.
“It's another guy's shop,” Mike said. “Now he's holding the car and wants to file a lien on it to sell it because Ivan hasn't paid him.”
The In Your Corner team jumped into action getting the second owner to hold off on filing the mechanic’s lien.
Ivan never did show and Mike and his dad were forced to fork over an extra $4,000 to get their car back.
Sanchez is now on the hook for $6,500 dollars.
He's agreed to make monthly payments starting in April until the judgment is paid off.
We’ll see if he comes up with the cash.
OKLAHOMA CITY - Army Veteran G.W. Mitchell and his son, Mike, are searching high and low for their 1951 Buick Special.
They said body shop owner Ivan Sanchez farmed out the paint job and repairs to a second shop, which was not part of the agreement.
“It's another guy's shop,” Mike said. “Now, he's holding the car and wants to file a lien on it to sell it, because Ivan hasn't paid him.”
Even though, Sanchez cashed both checks, totaling $6,500.
There was no sign of the cash or Sanchez.
We got him on the phone.
“That's not something I can discuss that with you, sir,” he said.
Sanchez hung up on us.
We followed G.W. and Mike to the second body shop in search of their Buick beauty.
The owner told us he didn’t want to get involved and his agreement was with Sanchez.
The repairman tells the In Your Team he finished the paint job months ago, but Sanchez won't come settle up.
We tried one more time to convince Sanchez to meet us at the shop, but he refused.
We know Sanchez was recently booked in the Oklahoma County Jail for driving under the influence, with a suspended license.
Getting nowhere with Sanchez fast, we convinced the second shop owner to hold off on the mechanic's lien, but he wasn't budging on the price forcing G.W. and Mike to fork over an additional $4,000 to get back their car.
Days later, father and son were reunited with their '51 Buick.
They are pleased with the paint job, but the door panels are missing.
We stopped by Sanchez's body shop one more time.
Several of his family members met us at the door.
Turns out, the door panels were at the shop all along, and Sanchez's mom assured Mike she was going to help them.
“She's going to get the money from him,” Mike said. “So, now we're start over, and hopefully mom comes through.”
We'll keep you posted on G.W.'s refund.
- Be wary of anyone who demands you pay cash up front.
- Take your time visiting the shop
- Asking plenty of questions
- Documenting everything.