Complaints about possible fraudulent activity at a local auto business and a police probe that followed has led to the arrest of the business’ owner on eight felony charges.
Patrick Henry Oakes, 31, of 201 Riverdell Drive, Fayetteville, was taken into custody Wednesday afternoon and charged with four counts common law forgery and four counts of identity fraud, charges that stem from alleged unauthorized repairs being charged to customers’ bank accounts.
According to Lt. Tim King with the Clinton Police Department, who was contacted about the incident, officers received complaints about Oakes’ business, Pat Oakes Automotive on U.S. 701, and fraudulent activity on banking accounts related to that business.
“Those who made the complaints were saying that there were unauthorized repairs on their vehicles being charged to their accounts,” King said. “We investigated those complaints and the charges were the result of that investigation.”
Oakes was taken into custody and taken to the Sampson County Detention Center where he was jailed under a $60,000 bond. He has since been released.
Oakes was scheduled to make his first appearance in Sampson District Court May 9; however King said it was likely that date could be moved up to Friday.
King said the business would not be closed, at least not by the Police Department. “We have nothing to do with that,” the officer stressed.
The business was open on Thursday but Oakes did not immediately return a call left for him there.