Vero Beach car salesman accused of defrauding customers

VERO BEACH, Fla. - INDIAN RIVER COUNTY — A Chrysler salesman has been accused of defrauding customers and his company after an investigation by detectives, the Indian River County Sheriff's Office said.

Rick John Roberts, 53, was a salesman for Vero Beach Chrysler in the 800 block of U.S. 1, Vero Beach.

Roberts, of the 400 block of Easy Street, Sebastian, was charged Tuesday with organized scheme to defraud and two counts of grand theft. He was being held in the Indian River County jail Wednesday on $7,500 bail.

The dealership owners contacted the Sheriff's Office about Roberts' activities a few weeks ago. Detectives determined Roberts took blank checks from a couple of customers under the premise he would fill them out and provide them with additional service for their vehicles, such as gap insurance. Instead, Roberts deposited a couple of $400 checks from customers into his own account, the Sheriff's Office said.

Roberts also used $432 in dealership money without approval to pay off a customer's trade-in vehicle to ensure the sale would be completed, detectives said.

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