Authorities search car dealership after owner charged with deceptive practices

THP, TN Dept. of Revenue raid dealership

COVINGTON, TN (WMC) - Authorities are searching through a Covington car dealership.

Tennessee Highway Patrol and State Department of Revenue officers arrived at McDivitt Motors on Friday morning to execute a search warrant, one day after the owner was charged with two felonies.

Marty McDivitt (Source: Tipton County Sheriff's Office)
Marty McDivitt (Source: Tipton County Sheriff's Office)

Marty McDivitt, 52, is charged with theft over $10,000 and deceptive business practices.

Those charges come from incidents out of Columbia, Illinois.

McDivitt allegedly wrote a bad check for more than $24,000 at the Weber Chevrolet dealership. Authorities say he knowingly and unlawfully took a white 2017 Buick Enclave.

The Tipton County District Attorney Mark Davidson said it's unclear if there is a direct relation between the charges and the search, but said it is possible.

Car dealer charged with deceptive practices

Davidson said investigators are collecting documents and evidence that could lead to charges, but it's too early to tell what.

Several McDivitt Motors customers have filed complaints with Covington Police Department.

Davidson said he is aware of the complaints, but added that none have been forwarded to his office.

"I'm surprised. I don't believe it," said Penny Goodman, friend.

Penny Goodman says McDivitt us well-known in the community and she has even done business with him.

"I have two sons that have vehicles from there right now that they're buying. but they're financed through somebody so hopefully they'll be okay," said Goodman.

WMC went to City Hall to look at McDivitt's business license. Records show he received it in 2005, but his last payment to the state was in 2010.

His account was then closed in April of 2011.

According to Tennessee's Department of Commerce and Insurance site, McDivitt's motor vehicle salesman license expired in 2001 and he never renewed it.

District Attorney Mark Davidson says it's still too early in the investigation to say what or if any charges will be filed.

"These agencies are working hard to make sure the public is protected and to make sure the consumers have confidence when they deal with businesses in Tipton County," said Davidson.

Businesses are also required to have a license through the county. Documents show McDivitt Motors does have an active and current county license.

We’ve reached out to Mr. McDivitt’s attorney, but have not heard back.

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