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January 18, 2008
Contact: Don Cookson

Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap Announces Revocation of New Car Dealer License Held by Gould Ford in Ellsworth

Dunlap says revocation "a consumer protection issue"

Augusta — Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap announced today a decision made by a Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) Hearings Officer regarding the disposition of an Ellsworth car dealer’s license to operate as a seller of new cars in Maine. The decision, released today, upheld the BMV’s decision to revoke the license of Dave Gould Ford, located at the junction of Routes One and Three in Ellsworth. “This revocation resulted from months of investigations into the business dealings of Dave Gould Ford, and was not an action we took lightly,” Dunlap said. “The decision was made to protect Maine consumers from fraudulent behavior, behavior that appears to have been part of a pattern at Gould Ford. Our investigators have detailed over 150 fraudulent acts committed by Gould Ford against unsuspecting Mainers involving over $288,000 dollars, resulting in serious financial troubles for many people. This revocation will help protect others against the potential for future fraud at that business.”

BMV investigators have been reviewing questionable business practices at Gould Ford since receiving a consumer complaint back in July of 2007. According to the written decision of Hearings Officer Joanne Baumrind, Gould Ford was accepting vehicles for trade which had outstanding liens against them, and then was failing to pay off those liens. Additionally, evidence showed Gould was collecting payments and fees for insurance policies and extended warranty coverage from customers, but then failed to submit those payments to the underwriting companies. At Tuesday’s hearing Gould testified he is now taking personal responsibility for the unpaid liens. The Hearings Officer said taking responsibility for prior acts now failed to mitigate the facts Gould Ford engaged in fraud on several occasions.  

Secretary Dunlap applauded the BMV investigators, saying “they put together a strong case for revoking Gould’s license, and Maine consumers are being put on notice that we will vigorously enforce consumer protection law,” Dunlap said, continuing “we are hopeful any people we haven’t spoken with who feel they may have been defrauded by Gould Ford will come forward at this time. I feel better knowing Gould Ford will not be selling any new cars to anyone in the future.”

For the complete text of the Hearings Officer's decision: Word format | pdf format. If you would prefer a printed hard copy, please call 626-8400.