MIAMI — Nine residents there were arrested this week following a yearlong joint investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement,­­­ the Miami Beach Police, and the Miami-Dade Police Corruption Unit into an elaborate car-buying, car-selling scam that bilked Miami-area businesses out of nearly a half million dollars. One suspect, Shannon A Reid, 56, remains at large.

Investigators allege that the highly organized and multifaceted scam utilized multiple ploys to defraud auto dealers and financial institutions by providing false credit information and bills-of-sale to obtain loans that were not repaid. The group included a clerk in a private tag agency and utilized at least three group-controlled Miami-area auto dealerships to affect their scams, according to the complaint.

Charges included racketeering, conspiracy to commit racketeering, grand theft, violation of the Florida Communications Fraud act, title fraud, obtaining a vehicle with the intent to defraud, unlawful subleasing of motor vehicles and false statement as to financial condition of or identity.

A warrant has been issued for Reid of Boca Raton, who is charged with one count of racketeering, one count of conspiracy to commit racketeering, one count of Florida Communications Fraud Act greater than $50,000 and one count of making a false report to police.

This case will be prosecuted by the Public Corruption Unit of the Miami Dade State Attorney’s Office.