The Revere Licensing Commission has lifted the suspension of a motor vehicle license held by the Revere Auto Gallery, 120 Squire Road.
The business was called in last by the commission last October concerning the closing of the business without surrendering the auto sales licenses. There were also numerous allegations of criminal activity. The manager at that time was Alvin Carter, a Salem resident who has not been seen or heard from in months.
The business has a confusing paper trail which lists Saugus resident Wade Lee, as the owner. The name of the business has also changed several times being known as Auto Gallery Group Inc. and Paul’s Enterprises, according to the Secretary of State’s office. Carter is accused of defrauding customers at his former business, Revere Auto Gallery.
During the past year many people have come forward complaining about Carter and car warranties he sold them. There were also complaints about the condition of vehicles sold.
Last week Lee came before the Revere Licensing Commission along with Det. Lt. John Goodwin, of the Revere Police Department, the clear up the warranty issues and other complaints. Some progress is being made toward reimbursing customers of Revere Auto Gallery. Goodwin has worked the case for the last six months. The Revere Police Department also continues to work on the case.
Commissioner Linda Guinasso said she would have felt better if all the checks had been mailed to the customers. Lee said he wanted to show that he was ready to. Goodwin agreed. She feared the checks might not get mailed if the commission decided to lift the suspension. Goodwin said he would hand deliver the checks.
Goodwin backed Lee in the mailing of the checks. Goodwin actually took possession of the checks after the hearing and said they would be held in escrow. He said there are 30 victims and no one from the Attorney Generals office or the District Attorney wanted to touch the case.
Goodwin said the Special Operations department of the district attorney’s is going through the information and looking at the criminality alleged against Carter.
Lee, who also owns the land where the car dealership is, showed the commission that he had checks and paperwork for the customers who had complaints. He said he was unable to find two of the customers.
“You’ve learned a great lesson with this one,” Guinasso told Lee. “We view you as the responsible party (because he is listed as the owner). This is also more of a civil case than a criminal one.”
She added that Carter was doing business under Lee’s license. The officership of the business changed several times, any time a CORI request was going to be made on Carter. The license cannot be granted †o anyone with a criminal background.
The Revere police became involved when it became evident that Lee was not aware of what Carter was doing. Carter is scheduled to appear in Chelsea District Court May 13 in regards to this case.
One of the victims, Cynthia Alba, of Saugus, stood up for Lee. “He made a mistake judging Alvin Carter’s honesty.” She said she did receive her payment from Lee and asked the commission to look favorably on him.