Dale Sundeen, the Colorado Department of Revenue Auto Industry Division’s criminal investigator who was investigating Grand Junction’s Red Rock dealerships, quit his job with the state and went to work for Red Rock Auto Group as their “Corporate Director of Compliance.”
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After examining paperwork from their transactions at Red Rock dealerships, more people report they’ve found forged signatures on their contracts and other documents from their deals:
The Colorado Department of Revenue’s Auto Industry Division (AID) has assigned a second criminal investigator to help the with the Red Rock dealership cases.
The first investigator looking into Red Rock is Dale Sundeen, who’s been with the Colorado Department of Revenue since 2008 and has been the agency’s western slope investigator for over ten years.
The additional investigator is John Bulman, who joined the Auto Industry Division in 2022 (pdf) after working for the Golden Police Department, where he was awarded Golden Police Officer of the Year in 2020.
Former Red Rock dealership employees have told AnneLandmanBlog that the dealerships coerce both employees and customers to leave positive reviews online, and a customer said the Red Rock dealership she patronized several years ago had paid her $2,500 to take a bad review of them off her Facebook page.
These manipulations of online reviews were discovered around the same time Red Rock introduced a new “Forever Promise” on their websites, in which the company promises to “earn your trust” and “be transparent.”
A reader supplied AnneLandmanBlog with screenshots of a 2019 Facebook Messenger conversation in which she told another person that Red Rock had paid her $2,500 to remove a Facebook post describing a bad experience with a Red Rock dealership:
As of today, Brantley Reade, Platform Manager for Red Rock Nissan, is no longer with the Red Rock Auto Group. He was formerly the designated person to call if you had been victimized by a deal at Red Rock’s Nissan or Kia dealerships.
So now, if you were a victim of a deal at a Red Rock dealership in which your digital signature was added to a contract without your being able to first see and expressly approve or reject any charges added to it (like extended warranties, maintenance agreements, protective coatings, key fob insurance, GAP insurance or other items), or if you found your signatures have been forged on any documents from your deal, or if your gross income, monthly housing payment, description of your vehicle or any other information was misrepresented to your lender on your loan application and Red Rock got you into a loan too big for you to handle, contact Red Rock owner Bryan Knight at (801) 792-3711 or email him at email@example.com to make an appointment to discuss your situation and give him a chance to make it right.
KREX-TV last night ran a 5 minute news segment about Red Rock dealerships, which are currently under investigation by the state for problems including forgeries of customers’ signatures on legal/financial documents like contracts, Powers of Attorney, title and loan documents, and the addition of thousands of dollars worth of extras to customers’ contracts without their knowing, like extended warranties and special coatings.
Below is the full statement of a former title clerk who worked at Red Rock. This person asked to remain anonymous. This statement was included in the KREX news segment, but it merits fuller attention because of its gravity. This person’s employment at the dealership has been verified, and they had experience with the Mesa County Department of Motor Vehicles before going to work for Red Rock:
A common theme running through customer complaints about Red Rock dealerships is that they discovered thousands of dollars in extended warranties added to their contracts without the dealership telling them about it, and they spotted these extra charges only after their signatures had been affixed to their contracts electronically. Customers repeatedly say they did not want these warranties and never agreed to them, only to find they had been added to their contracts anyway when they finally saw their paperwork. Once saddled with them, the customers had to go through the ordeal of trying to cancel them quickly, because the warranties are only fully refundable within 60 days after purchase.
Did you buy a vehicle from a Red Rock dealership and think you may have fallen victim to shady sales tactics? If so here’s some help:
First, think back to the day of your purchase:
Did the financial manager have you sign your name electronically on an IPad or email Docu-sign link? Did the financial person show you your full contract including the page with all the numbers on it, with the total price of the purchase and all the extras, before your signature appeared on it? Did the financial person tell you about the extras that had been added to your contract — extended warranties, maintenance agreements, oil changes, coatings, insurance, etc. – and did you openly agree to pay for all of them, or were they hidden from you?
Sonja Bartlowe is a single mom with two little girls and no child support who worked as a branch manager for a home care provider. Last May she traded in a vehicle and bought a 2016 Nissan Titan pickup truck priced at $39,000 from Red Rock Nissan, at least that’s what it was priced online.
Little did she know what she was in for.
Katelyn Slocum is a Certified Nursing Assistant with two small kids who works as an in-home hospice care provider for HopeWest. She uses her own car to get to her patients’ homes, and at the end of 2021, she decided she needed a more efficient car. She ended up at Red Rock Nissan, where she traded in a 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee with almost 100,000 miles on it for a 2019 Subaru WRX with about 17,500 miles on it.
The transaction happened late on a Monday. Katelyn said, “It was a super-rushed purchase because it was past closing time, as it took awhile to get me approved for the loan amount.”
After hearing about other people whose names were forged by Red Rock and all the other problems people had had with their purchases, she was prompted to more closely examine her documents for the purchase of her vehicle, and on December 22, 2022 she took another good look.
The 21 year old customer of Red Rock Hyundai featured in a December 29 blog about the horrendous way the dealership treated him during his purchase of a used mid-sized truck reports that after almost two months of dealing with the situation, he has finally gotten full satisfaction from the dealership.
It wasn’t without a fight, though.
After the blog about his plight was published, the customer returned to the dealership with his father to press for concessions beyond the $4,500 the customer said the dealership had previously paid him “to essentially stay quiet about the deal.” As a result, the dealership took the problematic truck they initially sold him back as a trade-in, gave him a decent amount of money for it, and then sold him an entirely different vehicle for what the customer also considered an appropriate price. The dealership also removed the $5,000 charge for the extended warranty that the customer said he never wanted, and the $4,000 charge for a “Resistall” coating that the customer also didn’t realize he’d been charged for.
I got an email yesterday from yet another Red Rock Hyundai customer who had a story that was so incredible, I had to share it. It includes yet another charge of forgery, as well as the addition of thousands of dollars in extras to the contract without the customer’s knowledge or approval. I spoke to this person on the phone to verify that they were a real person, get more details about their story and clarify some of the terms they used in the email.
The person who wrote this is 21 years old and came from out of town to purchase the vehicle. The name is redacted to keep the sender anonymous, upon their request:
People have sent information to AnneLandmanBlog that indicates customers of Grand Junction Red Rock dealerships have had their signatures forged on documents, and that such forgeries have likely been a problem at these dealerships for some time.
This week Red Rock Nissan went out of their way to help “the Andersons” (not their real name), a struggling young couple with three kids, two of whom are special needs kids, who were recently featured in this blog as an example of the kind of bad deals people were unknowingly getting into at these dealerships.
Note: I am re-posting this article from last December, now that a second former Red Rock dealership financial manager, Matthew Morris, has been charged with criminal impersonation, forgery and identity theft. This article contains information from a former Red Rock financial manager about how Red Rock allegedly (and routinely) defrauded customers as well as lenders (banks and credit unions). The article got little notice at the time I posted it, but it’s even more relevant now that criminal charges have been brought against a second Red Rock employee, who has implicated upper management in these activities..
Yet another former employee of a Red Rock auto dealership has contacted AnneLandmanBlog wanting to unload about what they experienced while working for Red Rock, and wanting others to know how business is done at these dealerships. This person has more detailed knowledge about financing of vehicle deals. Their name is withheld at their request. I asked this person follow-up questions based on information provided by a previous Red Rock employee who came forward and told about the illegal acts allegedly taking place at the dealerships, like falsifying customers’ financial information to lenders, misuse of digital signatures, forging of signatures, and more. This new person has even more detailed insight into these dealerships, the things they do to customers and banks, and how and why Red Rock dealerships operate so differently from other dealerships in town and around the country.
A former Red Rock auto dealership employee contacted AnneLandmanBlog wanting to unload about what he experienced in the years he worked for the dealership. He asked to remain anonymous, so his name is withheld. He said he was “ashamed” about having worked for the dealership and wanted to do whatever he could do to help people who fell victim to these scams.
Following are excerpts of our conversation, edited slightly for clarity:
Lyn Anderson and her husband Jim (not their real names) thought they should trade in their older Ford pickup and get a slightly newer, more family-friendly vehicle, so they went online to see what was available locally.
Little did they know what they were getting themselves into.