Raleigh used car dealer accused of questionable practices

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — A viewer reached out with concerns about Auto Connect, a used car dealership in Raleigh.

Mildred Summerville said she gave the owner, Frank Masika, $6,000 toward a car she never received. 

“He never planned to honor it. That’s all,” Summerville said.

She said the money was intended as a down payment on a 2015 Mercedes-Benz. She planned to also trade in her car. 

“This is the car I’m supposed to have had. Never seen. That he sent the bill of sale,” Summerville said.

CBS 17 caught up with her after she filed a police report. That police report lists the complaint as fraud, false pretense or swindle. 

“Ignoring my calls and not returning my calls and not returning my texts, that’s the problem,” she said.

“It was the worst experience I’ve ever had in a car dealership,” DeCarlos Parker said.

Parker said he gave Masika $2,000 as a down payment toward his BMW. Two months later he was still waiting for the car.

“Every day he gave a different lie about the car,” Parker said.

Fortunately, he was able to get his money back. Parker said he reported Masika to the Better Business Bureau. 

CBS 17 went to Auto Connect on South Wilmington Street in Raleigh, hoping to speak with the owner. He wasn’t there. So, a reporter called the number of the window of the business.

Masika answered and referred CBS 17 to his attorney.

“As far as I know, there are no pending criminal charges or lawsuits against my client regarding either the Hargrove or Summerville complaints. If the allegations had any truth to them, these matters would be in court. The fact that a complaining person hasn’t found a lawyer to assert a claim for more than $50,000 should tell you everything you need to know about that person’s credibility. My client pays its obligations, and unequivocally denies wrongdoing. Any allegations to the contrary are false and will be contested to the full extent of the law,” Matthew Gambale, Masika’s attorney wrote. 

According to Raleigh police, Masika is facing a charge of fraud, worthless bad checks. That charge dates back to an incident in January. 

CBS 17 has learned Masika was convicted of vehicle distribution without a license. 

CBS 17 has reached out to the state DMV, hoping to find out if Masika has a dealers license in the state and if so, if he has any violations. We have not yet heard back.

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