Man accused of using fraudulent checks to buy at least 5 luxury cars at Houston dealerships

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Friday, March 31, 2023
Rare Ferrari leads to arrest of man accused of $1M worth of bad checks
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The 44-year-old was caught after someone spotted a Ferrari he got away with, which was rare because of its unique shade of blue, at a restaurant, documents state.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A 44-year-old man accused of passing a series of fraudulent checks in order to purchase luxury vehicles was caught after a unique Ferrari was spotted at a restaurant, according to charging documents.

Angel Reyes is charged with the aggregate first-degree felony offense of theft. Police reportedly connected him to five separate fraudulent car purchases around Houston, totaling over $1 million.

According to charging documents, Houston police were contacted by Ferrari of Houston after someone bought a 2021 Ferrari F8 Tributo with a bad check for $468,702.16.

The dealership told police Reyes showed up in person on June 25, 2022, to begin the purchasing process for the car.

After he provided a copy of a Texas driver's license as a proof of identity, the dealership told him he would need to wire transfer the money to complete the transaction.

A check was deposited for the full price of the Ferrari and the luxury car was released to Reyes on June 28, documents state.

However, just a day later, the bank notified the dealership that the deposited check was rejected due to non-sufficient funds.

A Ferrari of Houston employee reportedly contacted Reyes, told him what happened, and asked him to return the car to the dealership.

Reyes attempted to prove he had enough money by replying with a screenshot of a banking app that showed $1.6 million in the checking account, according to charging documents.

Police said there are very few Ferraris in existence like the one Reyes purchased because the car is a unique shade of blue.

On June 29, 2022, a local restaurant contacted the Ferrari dealership because they spotted the unique car parked outside their business, documents state.

When the dealership employees arrived at the restaurant, they confronted an unknown man who was driving the car.

The man reportedly told them he rented it from Reyes that day and was just taking his girlfriend on a date. When he was informed of the fraudulent purchase, the man reportedly returned the vehicle and keys to the Ferrari of Houston employees.

When police later met with the witnesses at the Ferrari dealership, they were shown a six-person array of photos, and they picked the photo of Reyes out of the lineup, according to charging documents.

Reyes then became the subject of an alert that HPD sends to all Houston area dealerships.

During the investigation, police discovered that Reyes also purchased a 2022 Mercedes Benz S580 from Mercedes Benz of Houston Greenway on July 8, 2022, with a fraudulent check.

Documents state Reyes paid the $60,000 down payment for the Mercedes with a check from "Novatec Motors LLC."

Just like what happened with the Ferrari, the Mercedes dealership was notified that the check bounced due to non-sufficient funds. Employees reportedly recovered the car on July 13 when it was returned to the dealership due to service issues.

A witness at the Mercedes dealership also chose a photo of Reyes out of an array, documents state.

Police believe Reyes is no stranger to these kinds of fraudulent purchases. Investigators said he similarly passed fraudulent checks at three other car dealerships. He reportedly purchased a Range Rover Velar and an Audi R8 in June and a Maserati MC20 in July.

In total, the non-sufficient fund checks for all five known cases total $1,190,048.97, officials said.

Court documents show Reyes was already on bond for two other financial crimes from 2021, including one in which he is accused of stealing a Mercedes SUV from a rental car company.

Records say he rented it in Miami and reported it stolen in Houston. When it was finally found, it reportedly had a fake temporary tag in his name.

He's scheduled to appear in court for the new charge on May 8.

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