A finance manager at a Miami Shores, Fla., dealership has been arrested on suspicion of identity theft after a woman reported appearing as a cosigner on a 2016 Porsche Macan without authorization, police said.
Tropical Chevrolet finance manager Sofia Pinedo, 31, said both buyer Bryce Crawford and his ex-girlfriend, Jennifer Umanzor, were present at the dealership for the signing, according to Miami Shores police. Police said the Macan had a “finance amount” of $53,051.15.
“[Pinedo] advised the victim was present and signed the documents in front of her,” a Miami Shores investigator wrote in a police report.
But Umanzor said she had never visited Tropical Chevrolet, and her employer said she was on the job on Sept. 30, 2021, the date of the transaction in question, police said. Crawford agreed Umanzor wasn’t present for the deal and said the dealership had planned to mail the paperwork to her, according to police.
Handwriting on the Porsche transaction also didn’t match Umanzor’s signature on notarized documents, police said.
Pinedo’s attorney, Michael Gottlieb, of Michael A. Gottlieb P.A., said his client had been mistaken about the transaction when she talked to police. Pinedo couldn’t recall the circumstances of the signature, according to Gottlieb. He noted it occurred at the end of the month on a day she handled six deals and oversaw at least six others.
“My client’s innocent,” Gottlieb said. “There was never any intent on her part to defraud anybody.” He said she didn’t sign Umanzor’s name.
Tropical Chevrolet had a copy of Umanzor’s driver’s license and personal information, but Umanzor provided proof Crawford possessed a copy, police said. The two used to live together and have two children together, and Umanzor had provided him with personal information before, police said.
“We have recently learned of an alleged falsified identification used in the purchase of a vehicle several months ago from our dealership. We are cooperating with authorities fully and conducting our own investigation,” Tropical Chevrolet General Manager Daniel Sanguily said in a statement. “In the meantime, the employee who has been identified with financing the transaction has been placed on a leave of absence while the investigation continues. We pride ourselves on providing great vehicles and have placed literally tens of thousands of individuals in cars and this is the first time we have learned of any such alleged incident. We are taking it very seriously and responding accordingly but we cannot comment further as it could compromise the investigation.”
According to an investigator, Crawford was adamant Umanzor agreed to cosign the loan, while she was adamant she had not done so. Police said they couldn’t make a determination either way.
Police have not accused Crawford of involvement in the case, according to the police report. He declined to comment.
Umanzor referred an inquiry to her attorney at Wilbur Smith LLC. A representative of the firm said attorneys were still reviewing the case and had no comment for now.
The status of the Macan and loan are unclear. Lender Ally Financial and Sanguily declined to comment. Gottlieb said his understanding is that Crawford was making payments on the vehicle and the loan was in good standing.