Con artist captured at luxury car dealership

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CREVE COEUR, MO (KPLR) - A known St. Louis con artist now faces charges for buying two luxury cars with bad checks.  This time, auto dealership managers helped crack the case.

On July 1st, 22 year-old Jody Williams bought a 2006 Jaguar from Plaza Motors.  He paid the $13,076 with a personal check.

Plaza Jaguar Sales Manager Tyler Trenary says, “When he came back to get his vehicle the next day he had left here, he wanted to trade that car in and purchase another car as well.”

That’s when Trenary got suspicious, so he told Williams to get a cashier’s check for this purchase.  He adds, “[Williams] said he didn’t want to purchase the car anymore.  He left.”

Williams drove off, and Trenary googled him.  He immediately came across a Better Business Bureau article, calling Williams a 'con artist' and warning consumers to steer clear of his bogus businesses.  Williams claimed to sell everything from cigars to high-end fashion and refurbished iPhones.

BBB Investigator Bill Smith wrote two articles on Williams.  He says it appears the 22-year-old had delusions of grandeur.  “The fact that he had been involved in so many of these business led us to believe that there might be more coming, and sadly, there was,” says Smith, who added that Williams may have a new water bottle business in the works.

A week after buying the Jaguar, Williams returned to a different Plaza motors location, this time, to buy a 3-series BMW.

He told a salesperson he wanted a car for each day of the week.  He bought the BMW with another personal check for $30,116.

Right after this purchase, Plaza received an alert from the National Automobile Dealership Association: a warning about Williams.  “Apparently he had been doing in this in other cities, I believe it said Kansas City,” Trenary explains.

It was all adding up, and when he returned to have one of the vehicles serviced, managers immediately called police.

Williams was hauled away in handcuffs, and both vehicles were returned to Plaza.

Court documents show Williams wrote both checks on closed accounts.  He is now charged with two felony counts of passing bad checks.

Trenary warns, “If you’re going to purchase a car with a bad check, if you’re going to try to be somebody else, steal someone’s identity to purchase a car, it’s not going to work out. We’re going to catch you.”

In the Kansas City cases, FOX 2 is told the auto dealers caught the bad checks before Williams was able to drive off.​

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