Couple charged after Secretary of State investigation of Osceola County dealership

OSCEOLA COUNTY — A husband and wife connected to a car dealership in Osceola County are facing charges after a Secretary of State investigation.

Kimberly Ann Leonard, who owned Bullet Proof Sales, Inc., 19952 M-115, and her husband, Richard Boyd Leonard Jr., are facing charges, including felony charges of conducting a criminal enterprise and larceny by conversion of more than $1,000 but less than $20,000. They also were charged with six misdemeanor counts of failure to endorse and deliver a certificate of title.

The duo was arraigned on March 8 in Osceola County's 77th District Court. The Leonards, of Tustin, are accused of committing the alleged offenses between December 2016 and August 2017, according to court documents.

If convicted, the Leonards face up to 20 years in prison and/or $100,000 in fines for the criminal enterprise charge.

According to a news release from Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson, the investigation was prompted by consumer complaints.

Johnson suspended the dealership on Aug. 18, 2017, after Secretary of State regulatory staff attempted records inspections at the dealership on three occasions in June and July 2017 and found the facility to be empty. The inspections were in response to complaints by several consumers who had purchased vehicles at Bullet Proof Sales and had not received titles.

Investigations by Secretary of State agents and law enforcement officers revealed the Leonards had allegedly purchased vehicles at an auction and taken delivery of them, but failed to pay for them. The auction held the titles awaiting payment and the Leonards proceeded to sell the vehicles to consumers without titles in violation of Michigan law.

“I commend the Osceola County Sheriff’s Department and our staff for putting a stop to the unscrupulous activities in this case,” Johnson said. “Those who try to scam or swindle automotive consumers in this state will be discovered and we will ensure they are prosecuted.”

The pair was set to have a preliminary examination Thursday in Osceola County's 77th District Court, but it was postponed. A new court date has not been scheduled.