32-year-old Derick Suiter, who owns and operates R&D Automotive on Viroqua’s south side, was sentenced to one year of probation in Vernon County Circuit Court last week after pleading guilty to two counts of theft by false representation.
The charges came about after customers of R&D contacted authorities last year stating that they had been billed for repairs that had not been performed. Court records show the original complaint came from an Illinois woman who was in Viroqua visiting relatives and had car trouble in December of 2012. The car was overheating and she took the vehicle to R&D for repair. The car was repaired and the woman was told the vehicles head gasket had been replaced and paid an $1,100 bill. After returning to Illinois the woman again had car trouble and took it to a local mechanic who had worked on the car previously. That mechanic told the woman the repairs she had paid for had not been performed. The woman subsequently contacted Viroqua police.
During the course of the investigation into the complaint a former employee told investigators he witnessed other instances of over billing and other customers also filed complaints.
Last Thursday, Suiter agreed to plead guilty to the two misdemeanor counts. During sentencing Suiter told Judge Michael Rosborough the problem stemmed from “billing problems” and employees he had not properly supervised.
Category: Local News