The identity theft lawyer who sued a car dealership and the company who sold the vehicle, but whose business was also damaged by the fraud, are among the many people whose identities have been stolen in the past two years.
Car wreck lawyer Craig Schulz is a former Washington state attorney general who sued the Car & Tire Mart in Seattle and filed a class action lawsuit against the dealership in 2015.
In 2016, Schulz won a $1 million judgment against the car dealership, but in a lawsuit filed in 2017, he said he lost his job because of the fraud and lost his home and car.
Schulz is now suing a car dealer named James McBride for $7 million, claiming he is the victim of identity theft and fraud.
McBride owns and operates Car < Tire Motors in Seattle.
The dealership claims that Schulz and his wife have been using the name Craig Schuls.
McBrands attorney, Michael Peltier, told ABC News the car dealer is a victim of fraud and identity theft.
Peltier said Schulz’s lawsuit is the first in the state of Washington, which has more than 2,000 civil lawsuits against businesses and businesses accused of fraud.
Peltinger said he expects to file similar lawsuits against other car dealerships in the future.
Schulz says he and his family are trying to rebuild their lives, but he says it’s not easy.
McWilliams, the dealership owner, told CBS affiliate KING 5 that he and Schulz both had to pay for the attorney fees Schulz incurred because of identity fraud charges filed against the company.
“I’ve had the best lawyer in the country and they don’t want me to have him,” McWilliams said.
The suit against the Car and Tire Mart is the latest in a string of identity-related lawsuits against car dealers.
In April, a California couple sued Car > Tire Motor Vehicles for $2.7 million for the wrongful loss of their son’s identity and credit.
The court rejected the lawsuit.
In February, the father of a 17-year-old who was killed in a car accident sued the dealership for $1.4 million for wrongful death.
In October, the mother of a 16-year, 7-month-old boy sued the car company for $890,000 for the loss of her son’s ID and credit, and $250,000 to repair his vehicle.
In June, a Florida couple sued the company for identity theft for $5 million, alleging they were the victim.
The company was ordered to pay a $3.8 million civil settlement in a suit filed in March.
In December, the parents of a 3-year old boy sued a Florida man who had purchased the boy’s car from the dealership.
The suit accused the dealership of fraudulently selling the child’s car and then selling it to a third party.
The court awarded $3 million in damages to the parents.