A Statesboro woman is facing multiple fraud counts after investigators tell us she tried to take several car dealerships for a ride.
She told them she had just come into millions of dollars when she bought cars, trucks and SUV's. But what she did with those vehicles is even more surprising. Since we told you about this arrest, WTOC has heard from investigators, other car dealers, even ministers who said they were taken in by this woman as this case gets bigger and bigger.
Barbara Chest faces charges she knowingly wrote bad checks for four brand new trucks and SUV's in Metter last week. In Statesboro, Stephen Franklin says the same woman came to his family's dealership in October.
"She said she had an inheritance, had a trust. That's not unusual. We have that a lot,” said Franklin.
But Franklin says the executor was on vacation until Tuesday, and some other stuff. And she went on about how she needed to leave with the vehicle. He says he let her use a less expensive rental for the weekend, but confronted her on her story days later and took back the car.
"I called her a liar and begged her to please prove me wrong,” said Franklin.
Since, she faces fraud charges in purchases last week. But where are the vehicles?
"We recovered one at her apartment. But she said she had given the other three away to people locally in Bulloch County and one out of state,” said Bulloch County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Jared Akins.
Akins said they're working with other agencies who report she's used similar stories in Vidalia and Baxley to buy vehicles then given them to friends through churches, even to the ministers, before checks bounced and the vehicles got reclaimed.
"If it's too good to be true, it probably is. That's an old saying but it's still true today,” said Chief Deputy Akins.
Akins says they're still working with other agencies elsewhere to see just how deep this case goes. Akins tells WTOC Chest was also in the middle of a $1 million real estate buy in Bulloch County that has since been halted.
She remains in jail.
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