If you’re going to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on something, especially when it comes to something like a classic car, it’s best to do your research and make sure you’re getting what you think you’re buying. Unfortunately, car dealerships have gotten better at hiding their tracks and making their fakes look legitimate. They’ll falsify everything from the title to the vehicle identification number (VIN) to make the sale look convincing, even when it’s not.
Adam Levine, the famous singer and songwriter who is probably best known for being the lead singer and guitar player of the band, Maroon 5, is also known for collecting classic cars. Now the pop star is making headlines for the lawsuit he’s filing against Rick Cole, a high-end car dealer who allegedly sold Levine a car that’s worth less than the $850,000 Levine allegedly paid for the car.
According to the lawsuit, Levine traded two classic Ferraris, a 1968 365 and a 1972 365, in exchange for a 1971 Maserati Ghibli 4.9 Liter Spyder plus $100,000 in cash.
With just 45 known to have been built, the Ghibli 4.9 Spyder is one of the rarest Maseratis in the world. As is often the case, the scarcity of the car makes it more desirable for classic car collectors like Levine. Unfortunately, that same desire can sometimes make people like Levine a target for scammers, as apparently happened when Levine made the alleged mistake of buying a car from Rick Cole.
It wasn’t until Levine tried to sell the Maserati to Autosport Designs, a car dealer in New York, that he realized the car was not all it had been made out to be. It turned out Autosport Designs had already sold another car with an identical VIN to the car Levine was trying to sell them. It wasn’t until that point that Levine had his team conduct further investigation into the origins of the vehicle and found it was not, in fact, a Ghibli 4.9 Spyder.
Cole first raised red flags when he heard Levine was thinking of selling the car. When Cole tried to persuade the celebrity not to resell the car, that should have provided the first clue that something was wrong. Unfortunately, it’s often the case that we don’t realize what’s happening until we have the benefit of hindsight. It wasn’t until Autosport Designs told Levine that his car couldn’t be authentic that Levine realized why Cole had been trying so hard to persuade him not to sell the car. Cole was trying to prevent his own alleged misdeeds from coming to light.
Once Levine became aware of the situation, he asked Cole to either reverse the deal they had made, or to pay Levine $850,000, which is the approximate value of the deal. Cole refused, so Levine responded by taking the matter to court. He filed a federal lawsuit against Cole for $1 million for allegedly defrauding him by convincing him the car was worth more than it really is.
If you’re a victim of fraud and deceit, you want attorneys who are as honest as the day is long and almost available on that basis. We fight for your rights and work diligently on your behalf to get you justice and any just compensation you may be due. We’re there for you in, around and even beyond Chicago. From Oakbrook to Northbrook and any city you can name, we claim jurisdiction over claims of fraud and a huge range of business law disputes that may involve litigation. Call us to discuss your legal needs during a FREE consultation. Call 630-333-0333 or via our website by clicking here. We look forward to speaking with you.