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New Mexico Dealer Charged With Forgery

November 23, 2010

LAS CRUCES, N.M. — The 70-year-old former owner of Valley Auto Sales was arrested last week on 17 counts of forgery. Police said Mike R. Archuleta ordered duplicate titles for at least 37 used vehicles, claiming the original documents had been lost, then forged signatures on the new titles in order to sell them to investors, according to the Albuquerque Journal.

According to police, investors were told that the vehicles carried liens from unpaid title loans and that, once cleared, Archuleta would resell the vehicles, promising a 30 percent return on their investment. It is unclear whether Archuleta claimed to have originated the title loans himself or was selling the vehicles on behalf of a third-party lender.

Archuleta’s scheme began to unwind in May, when several investors realized they held multiple titles for the same vehicles. Archuleta was released Thursday on a $50,000 bond.


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