Lawsuits, Investigations After 90 Luxury Cars Go Missing from Bankrupt Dealership

Insurance Journal, May 11, 2022

Lawsuits and criminal accusations have erupted after a luxury car dealer in South Florida filed for bankruptcy and as many as 90 Lamborghinis, Ferraris and other high-priced cars disappeared from the dealership.

At least nine people have filed suit in Broward and Palm Beach counties, alleging that they bought the vehicles but they were never delivered, or that the titles are missing and ownership is in dispute, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported.

Boca Raton police also have opened at least 26 investigations regarding alleged fraud over the cars, after Excell Auto Group declared bankruptcy in April. The business and others were owned by Scott and Kristen Zankl, the newspaper reported.

Derek Stephens, who is suing two businesses involved in the case, said he lost a 2013 Ferrari 458 Spider that he had left on consignment at one of the Zankls’ businesses, Karma of Palm Beach, according to the Sun Sentinel. Karma reportedly told Stephens that the car was taken by the company’s landlord in a dispute over unpaid loans. Karma had agreed to pay Stephens $230,000 if it sold the vehicle, Stephens’ lawsuit states.

“Some people don’t feel sorry for him, having that kind of car,” said Stephens’ attorney Darin Mellinger. “Even still, it’s a sad situation.”

Plaintiffs will likely have to wait months or years before the disputes are settled while the bankruptcy court sifts through all creditors that may be owed money by the dealership and related businesses.

The Excell Auto Group bankruptcy petition estimates that it owes $10 million to $50 million to as many as 49 creditors. Assets available for distribution to unsecured creditors range from $0 to $50,000, the filing shows. The court has asked the dealership’s owners to produce a list of all the missing cars locations.

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