A Mechanicsburg used-car dealership is facing legal action from the state for allegedly failing to pay restitution following a settlement with Pennsylvania’s Attorney General.
New Kingston Auto and its owner, Harry Laughman, were ordered in June to pay $25,000 in restitution to customers for various dealership law violations, some involving improper licensing, Attorney General Josh Shapiro said.
Shapiro’s office is now seeking an additional $27,000 in restitution the dealership’ former clients, and a ban on the dealership from selling cars in Pennsylvania.
The motion for contempt filed in Cumberland County Court also states that the dealership sold a vehicle to a customer knowing that it wouldn’t pass inspection after the consent order was issued in June. The customer later lost control of the vehicle, and a repair shop later said it was unfit to drive.
“This business’s ongoing, blatant disregard for the law is a bumper argument for our demand that the Court of Common Pleas hit the brakes on the dealership and its owner’s ability to sell more vehicles,” Shapiro said. “As Attorney General, I will work to keep consumers on a healthy highway and bad actors, like this company, off the road.”
An attorney for Laughman said the dealership planned to contest the action, arguing that some payments were made but not registered by the state. The attorney, John Glace of Shiremanstown, Cumberland County, said a recent medical emergency kept Laughman from raising the money for the payments.
New Kingstown Auto is currently looking at shifting to auto repairs as it continues to make the restitution payments and plans to stop its sale of cars even if the court doesn’t decide to ban its sales.
“Since the consent order happened in the summer, (Laughman) gave up leasing cars and without having the money to operate, he isn’t selling cars,” said Glace.