BMV Close To Completing Investigation Into Ohio State Football Car Deals

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The Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles was nearly finished with its look at car deals involving Ohio State football players, 10 Investigates' Paul Aker reported on Wednesday.

It appears that Jack Maxton Chevrolet, the dealership at the center of the controversy, made money on the car deal. The issue now is whether the state of Ohio received all of the sales tax it was owed, Aker reported.

The investigation started when reports came out that many Ohio State University athletes were buying cars from the same dealership and the same salesman, Aaron Kniffin.

Reports raised questions about one deal in particular; that of former Buckeye linebacker Thaddeus Gibson. 
That deal now looks like it did not violate any BMV laws but questions remain about sales taxes.
Some first questioned whether Gibson received a discounted price on a 2007 Chrysler 300. If he had, that could have constituted an NCAA rules violation.

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State records showed he bought the car for $13,700, which was on the very low end of what dealers could buy those cars for.

10 Investigates found that Gibson had a trade-in. He traded in a 2003 Chevrolet Monte Carlo that BMV records showed he bought for $15,400 just seven months earlier.

But the dealership may have given him only $1,000 toward the trade-in, dropping the sales price of the car he was buying by a substantial amount.

10 Investigates has learned that's what Kniffin has told investigators with the BMV.

Kniffin claims he had nothing to do with that part of the deal. But he told us in a previous interview his managers did this sort of thing to help close car deals.

"That would be something the sales manager or finance manager would have done to help absorb some of the taxes for him," Kniffin said.

Kniffin has told investigators the dealership did it for many other people, not just Ohio State athletes.

Jack Maxton Chevrolet had no comment, citing customer privacy concerns
The BMV would not comment on when it plans to officially complete its investigation.

Gibson has not returned calls for comment.
The Ohio Department of Taxation would not comment on whether it is investigating the possibility of sales tax fraud.

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Previous Stories:

May 19, 2011: Car Salesman Says Deals To Ohio State Players Were Fair
May 11, 2011:  Documents Show Former Ohio State Player Paid For Car
May 9, 2011: Agent: NCAA Might Investigate Ohio State Vehicle Allegations
May 7, 2011:  Ohio State To Investigate Player-Car Deals