From The Trussville Tribune staff reports
LIMESTONE COUNTY — A north Alabama couple has been arrested in a car selling scam and law enforcement officials believe there could be many more victims impacted.
Andrey Shvets, 42, and Iryna Shvets, 35, of Harvest, were charged with one count each of first-degree theft by deception, possession of a forged instrument or altered title, and deceptive business practices, according to a statement from the Limestone County Sheriff’s Office.
Officials said the “title-washing” scam led to an investigation that discovered large amounts of evidence that the pair may have scammed numerous unsuspecting victims.
On Oct. 1, an investigator spoke to a family that believed they had been scammed into buying a car with a forged Alabama title.
The victims had met the Shvets in late 2017 at the Shvets’ residence to look at a 2016 Nissan Maxima advertised online for $25,999. The victims asked if the Maxima had ever been damaged and were told a rock had cracked the windshield, which had been replaced, but otherwise the car had never been damaged and had a clean title.
Iryna Shvets said she had just had a baby and the vehicle was too small for their growing family of four children.
The victims received a clean Alabama title when they purchased the car.
In June, the victims decided to sell the Maxima. After listing the car for sale, the victim searched the VIN history and learned the car had a salvage title history due to an accident in Mississippi and had been totaled before the Shvets bought it.
Investigator Durden of the Limestone County Sheriff’s Office said victims can check their vehicle’s VIN number online. If it shows a salvage history but they have a clear title, they should call LCSO at 256-232-0111 and ask for Investigator Durden.