Thomasville, GA - A Thomasville car dealership with a bruised reputation is trying to refurbish its brand with a new owner.
Earlier this year, officers say Prestige Honda was scamming customers out of money. They say the previous owner filed for bankruptcy and just three weeks ago the owner of Flowers Nissan purchased the dealership in hopes of bringing back its reputation.
David Flowers, Honda and Nissan Dealership Owner, says, "In time we'll be able to prove to North Florida and South Georgia that we are a different kind of business, that we are a business they can have confidence in and do business with."
Flowers says since the take over - he's employed over 30 new people. He says it's easy to run a business with honesty and integrity.
[LAST UPDATED on 6/17 at 5:30PM]
Jeffery Bryson, the manager of Prestige Honda in Thomasville, confirmed today (6/17) that the store is for sale.
The dealership filed for bankruptcy in January after Bryson and owner Craig Hornsby were both arrested for not paying off traded-in cars.
There's no word yet on who the new owners will be.
Bryson says the sale will need to be approved by Honda.
[UPDATE] 4-4 3:43 PM --
The attorney of car dealer Craig Hornsby, Tim Jansen, says that all charges against Hornsby have been dropped.
Hornsby was arrested in February for selling cars without a clear title at his Tallahassee dealership.
[UPDATED 2/16/2011 at 6 PM]
The owner of a car dealership in Thomasville, Georgia is in hot water again, this time for selling vehicles without a clear title at his Tallahassee dealership.
Prestige Infiniti owner Craig Hornsby was booked into the Leon County jail yesterday (2/15) following an investigation by the Florida Highway Patrol.
Hornsby was arrested in late December 2010 on several counts of not paying off traded-in cars at his Prestige Honda dealership in Thomasville.
Hornsby was booked and released yesterday (2/15).
[UPDATED 1/13/2011 at 6:17 PM]
The Thomas County Sheriff's Office is still asking people who believe they've been victimized by Prestige Honda in Thomasville to come forward.
Deputies say they are still receiving phone calls from customers who believe the dealership did not pay off trade-ins or extended warranties as contracts stated they would.
The dealership's owner Craig Hornsby, and its manager Jeffrey Bryson, were both arrested by TCSO on December 20, 2010 for theft by conversion after failing to pay off the balances on vehicles that were transferred to the dealer as trade-ins.
[UPDATED 12/29 at 5:50 PM]
Thomas County investigators say they have a better handle on the number of people who have been victimized by Prestige Honda in Thomasville.
Deputies say there are at least 14 people who were victimized by the dealership, and over $100,000 in unpaid trade-ins, extended warranties, and gap insurance thefts have been tallied.
Investigators arrested owner Craig Hornsby, and General Manager Jeffrey Bryson on December 20.
The Sheriff's department says the two men admitted to knowing traded-in cars were not being paid off.
[UPDATED 12/22 at 6:14PM]
The Thomas County Sheriff's Office says five more people are claiming to be victims of Thomasville Prestige Honda.
TCSO says they too have reported that their trade-ins have not been paid off by the car dealership.
They say calls have been flooding the police station since people realized they weren't alone with their trade-in and warranty troubles.
The dealership's owner, Craig Hornsby, and its General Manager Jeffrey Bryson, were both arrested Monday (12/20) for theft by conversion.
The Sheriff's department says the two men admitted to knowing traded-in cars were not being paid off by the dealership as contracts stated they should.
TCSO says some cars are 90 days behind in payments, and owners are worried about how it will impact their credit.
[UPDATED 12/21 at 7:05PM]
The Thomas County Sheriff's Office says at least 8 clients of Prestige Honda in Thomasville have been wronged by the business, and in a big way.
"I'm depressed, and upset. I mean, I can't sleep, it's just worried me to death," says one of Prestige's clients.
The dealership's owner, Craig Hornsby, and General Manager, Jeffrey Bryson were both arrested (12/20) and charged with 4 counts each of theft by conversion.
TSCO says Hornsby and Bryson were "taking in and trading cars with people, and not paying off the trade-in as contracted to do."
They say both men openly admit knowing about what was going on, but Hornsby's attorney, Tim Jansen, says his client wasn't aware of any wrongdoing:
"You have to have the intent to commit a crime. Now whether there was a clerical error and some things didn't get paid ... or whether someone purposely kept that money and refused to turn it over, that's a completely different ballgame which we believe they will not be able to show."
One victim, a 75-year-old Tallahassee resident, says her credit has been destroyed since her trade-in was never paid off:
"It's just not right ... I've worked all my life to have good credit, and now it's ruined."
Investigators say they've been answering calls all day from people who think they too have been victimized by Prestige Honda.
They also say more than just trade-ins aren't being paid off: they've also received complaints that customers who've purchased extended warranties have not received those, either.
TSCO says the dealership is still open for business; they say the only reason they were at Prestige yesterday morning (12/21) was to serve arrest warrants for Hornsby and Bryson.
[UPDATE] 12-21 Noon --
More alleged victims are coming forward in the case of the owner and manager of a local Honda Dealership arrested and charged with felony theft.
The Thomas County Sheriff's office says Craig Hornsby, the owner of Prestige Honda in Thomasville, and Jeffery Bryson, the manager, were both arrested on four counts of theft by conversion yesterday (12-20).
Deputies say they've been investigating the dealership for about a year now. According to investigators, customers would trade in their vehicles that they still still owed money on and the dealer was supposed pay them off, but customers would later receive calls from billing agencies saying the balance was not being paid. Deputies say they've received about ten more calls this morning from people who believe they've been victimized, bringing the count so far to about 20 people.
Stay with WCTV for updates on this story.
Thomasville, GA - Thomas County Sheriff's deputies have arrested Craig Hornsby and Jeffrey Bryson for theft by conversion.
Craig Hornsby is the owner of Prestige Honda in Thomasville, Georgia.
Jeffrey Bryson is the manager of that same Honda dealership.
Both men have been charged with 4 felonies each of theft by conversion.
WCTV has included a picture of Hornsby and Bryson above. No other information has been released at this time. Stay with Eyewitness News as details develop.