Car Dealership Finance Manager Facing Fraud Charges: Miami-Dade Police

A South Florida car dealership finance manager who used customers' credit card numbers to make large personal purchases was behind bars Friday on multiple fraud charges, authorities said.

Osvaldo Batista, 39, was arrested Thursday on charges of organized scheme to defraud, fraudulent use of credit cards and criminal use of identification, Miami-Dade Police said.

Batista remained behind bars without bond Friday. It was unknown if he's hired an attorney.

According to police, investigators were contacted by a department store regarding fraudulent transactions, and an investigation led them to Batista, who works for Kendall Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram.

Batista would place orders over the phone and would provide dealership patrons' credit card information to complete the purchases, police said. When investigators searched his home, they found documentations linking him to the fraudulent purchases, as well as about $5,000 in new merchandise, police said.

According to an arrest report, Batista made more than $50,000 in purchases over the phone at Saks Fifth Avenue in Dadeland Mall dating back to June.

Batista used more than 20 credit cards to make the purchases, the report said.

Hector Collado, the manager of the dealership, said Batista has been fired.

"The dealership is cooperating 100% with authorities," Collado said in a statement Friday. "We have been told to refer any questions from our customers to Miami Dade Police Department’s fraud credit unit. So far, we have not received any complaints from our customers."

Batista, of Doral, is already on probation for a fraud case in Miami-Dade, police said.

"In the position that he had as a finance manager, he had all the access to personal information of the people who were buying cars," Miami-Dade Police spokesman Alvaro Zabaleta said.

Police said they want to speak to anyone who has been victimized by Batista. Anyone with information is asked to call the economic crimes bureau at 305-994-1000.

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