FBI Investigates Massive Vehicle Fraud Scheme

(TotalConservative.com) – The FBI is closely scrutinizing Stephen Phelps, owner of the now-defunct FSD (father-son-daughter) Hot Rod Ranch after bankruptcy claims revealed multiple civil complaints regarding how Phelps ran the business. Phelps filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy claims in Florida court in December 2023, and shortly thereafter it was revealed that Phelps owes creditors over $4 million.

The FBI and the local police department are investigating fraud allegations filed by multiple parties who allege Phelps took possession of their vehicles, sold them on consignment, and then failed to pay out the owners. People who purchased vehicles from Phelps said that they failed to receive titles, with one complaint claiming the title sent was a forgery.

During a Zoom meeting discussing the affair, Phelps apologized saying he “deeply” regretted the loss of client funds. He also said that the business simply failed, suggesting his expenses were outpacing his income.

The Florida-based hot rod dealer took possession of two vehicles from Utah resident Brett Pace. Two trucks were transferred to Phelps with the expectation that he would pay Pace upon their sale. While one vehicle was paid out, another wasn’t, leaving Pace without his classic truck and owed $28,800 from the sale.

Debra Meyers and her late-fiancé bought a 1931 Ford Model A Phaeton replica for $25,000 from Phelps. Meyers said shortly after, her fiancé died, leaving her with the unfulfilled dream of wanting to drive the car with him. She realized after his death that the car never came with a title, meaning she’s unable to register or sell it in the state of Florida. Meyers said she’s still paying $425/month on the loan used to purchase the vehicle.

It turns out another creditor has the title; Jim McMillian interrupted Meyers during the Zoom call to indicate he was still in possession of it. McMillian filled in the details saying that Phelps owes him $17,000 on the car which is why the title was never transferred.

FSD has 27 outstanding complaints with the Better Business Bureau for similar behavior.

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