Pine County Sheriff's Office Overcharged on Vehicle Purchases
Refund checks are being sent to various law enforcement agencies across the state and region after they were overcharged by a car dealer.
Nelson Auto Center in Fergus Falls sold vehicles to hundreds of agencies in Minnesota, and overcharged more than 200 of them. The list of those affected in the east central region of Minnesota include Cambridge and North Branch for city departments, and Chisago, Isanti, Kanabec and Pine for sheriff’s offices.
The largest overcharge in the region was for Pine County where 15 purchases were made and the bill was $4,026 higher than it should have been.
Minnesota Department of Administration led the investigation, going through each charge line by line as they waded through an estimated 800-900 hours of work. Statewide $803,309 will be refunded to the over 200 departments that are owed in the coming weeks.
Ownership of Nelson Auto Center deny knowledge and are not facing charges, but former Nelson Auto fleet manager, Gerry Worner, is awaiting trial on a 5 count criminal complaint. Nelson Auto Center had been selling vehicles to police agencies across the state as part of a contract with Minnesota worth $15 million.
Those interested can read the full report from the state audit here, and Kare 11’s initial investigation here.