Farmington auto shop owner allegedly defrauded 10 more customers of $34,000
Defendant allegedly defrauded 15 customers
FARMINGTON — The owner of the shuttered Silas Auto repair shop in Farmington has been arrested again and accused of defrauding 10 more customers out of more than $34,000.
Slias Bedah, 53, is accused of 13 felony charges, including 10 counts of fraud, along with felony counts of extortion, larceny and fraudulently obtaining a vehicle, according to the criminal complaint.
The new charges were filed on May 27, more than five months after the first set of charges were filed on Jan. 13.
Bedah is accused of defrauding five customers in the first set of charges, bringing the total amount to 15 people who participated in the criminal investigations so far.
The defendant did not have legal representation on the new set of charges.
A Farmington Police Department detective spoke with multiple people claiming Bedah defrauded them at the closed Silas Auto shop at 308 Airport Drive.
The detective spoke to 10 people who accused Bedah of defrauding them of money ranging from about $600 to $6,000 since 2017, according to court documents.
The total amount the vehicles owners were defraud of is about $34,100 in the second set of charges.
Bedah was accused of defrauding nearly $13,300 from five customers in January, bringing to total amount to nearly $47,400 between the two cases.
The figures reported are from the criminal charges filed against Bedah.
A detective wrote in the affidavit that several people had called about getting their vehicles back but did not want to get involved with Bedah anymore.
Others who spoke to the detective were seeking legal remedies in the court system.
For the second set of charges, there appears to a pattern to the alleged crimes Bedah is accused of committing.
A majority of the customers were seeking work on their vehicle’s engine and had paid Bedah up front for the work.
The defendant is accused of taking the money, then failing to perform the necessary work, giving excuses to the vehicle owners about having the wrong part or engine.
Bedah is accused of forcing one customer to sign over the title of a beige Lincoln SUV to him because she was unable to pay a $1,100 storage fee, a fee Bedah allegedly surprised the vehicle owner with, according to court documents.
Some of the vehicle owners were able to recover their vehicle.
Two of the people Bedah allegedly defrauded had to pay an Aztec tow service hundreds of dollars after Silas Auto closed, and the vehicles were towed to the business’ storage yard, according to court documents.
Bedah was incarcerated on the morning of June 7 at the county jail.
His preliminary hearing is set for the morning of June 23 in Farmington Magistrate Court.
Joshua Kellogg covers breaking news for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 or via email at email@example.com.
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