A former salesman at a now defunct used recreational vehicle and automobile business in Bunker Hill, W. Va., was arraigned Thursday (July 15) on two counts of obtaining money under false pretenses. He allegedly sold a bogus warranty for more than $3,000 to one customer and later allegedly defrauded another out of a down payment worth more than $11,000.
James Edward Overstreet, 61, of Delaware, was released from custody Thursday after posting $15,000 bail.
The two cases were investigated by Sgt. B.F. Hall of the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Department, the Martinsburg Journal reported.
According to court records, in August 2009, Hall received a fraud complaint regarding the purchase of a 2000 Winnebago Minnie motorhome from a local RV dealer. The victim said he and his wife attempted to buy the motorhome in February 2009 from Camper’s Choice Pre-owned RV and Auto in Bunker Hill.
He told police that Overstreet, an employee of the business, said he would get them a 15-year loan on the RV from Huntington Bank with a $205 monthly payment, records show.
The victim then gave Overstreet a check for $11,634 to cover the down payment, taxes, tags and title on the RV. On Feb. 30, 2009, Huntington Bank came back with a loan offer of six years with a $380 monthly payment, the victim said.
He told police he turned down the the loan offer because he wanted a term of 15 years. The victim said Overstreet then told him he would contact a bank in California that could offer a 12-year loan with a payment of $220 a month. He said Overstreet submitted paperwork to Essex Credit in California regarding the loan. The victim was later contacted by a loan officer in March 2009. He said the loan officer told him that the RV was overpriced and that Overstreet had agreed to reduce the price. The loan officer also told the victim that he was waiting on additional paperwork from Overstreet so that the loan could be completed, records show.
The loan was then canceled in May 2009 after Overstreet allegedly failed to provide the necessary documents that were required for the loan to be processed. The victim said he requested his money back from Overstreet, but said the man refused to refund the more than $11,000.
Hall later contacted the loan officer, who said that the loan couldn’t be processed because Overstreet had refused to send in the necessary paperwork that Essex required, records show.
Hall attempted to locate Overstreet, but found that Camper’s Choice was no longer in business and that Overstreet had left the state, records show.
That same month, Hall received another fraud complaint about the same business from a man who said he purchased an extended warranty for his RV from the local RV dealer. The man said he purchased a used 1998 Winnebago Chieftain in September 2008 and an extended warranty for the RV for $3,250 from Camper’s Choice. The man told investigators he completed the application for the extended warranty through Interstate Star RV at Camper’s Choice and the application was to be submitted by Overstreet.
In June 2009, he called Interstate RV to check on his policy and was told that he didn’t have one, records show. He said Overstreet then told him that they had sent another person’s application in, but not his. The victim said Overstreet apologized to him and said they would get his application into the system right away, records show.
The next day, the victim said Overstreet told him he had to complete a new application and that the effective date on the extended warranty would be June 22, 2009.
Less than a month later, the victim said he took his RV to a service center in Martinsburg to be worked on. He was told by a representative there that his RV was not covered under warranty by Interstate RV. When he contacted Interstate RV, the victim was told that he was not even eligible for the warranty that was sold to him by Camper’s Choice, records show.
The victim told police he attempted to call Overstreet, but only got a voicemail. He said he left a message stating that he wanted his money back. The victim later found out that Overstreet and the owner of Camper’s Choice had closed the business and left West Virginia, records show.
If convicted, Overstreet could face one to 10 years in prison.