UPDATE: Lopez pleaded guilty to another charge of deceptive trade practices Monday, March 23. Lopez was sentenced to 365 days in jail and was ordered to pay $2,000 in restitution to each of the victims. He was also ordered to pay a $3,000 fine that is a suspended sentence. If he fails to pay the victims, he will have to go to jail and pay the fine
The owner of Formula One Auto Collision in East El Paso, Cesar Lopez, was found guilty of deceptive trade practices on March 17 in a jury trial in county court.
The charges stem from a case in 2011, when Lopez owned CRL Collision. In 2011, KFOX14 reported numerous stories where owners claimed Lopez was holding their cars hostage.
Some owners said they spotted other people driving their cars around town, reported kfoxtv.com.
Lopez has recently been the subject of several KFOX14 investigations after more owners contacted KFOX14 with similar problems to those in 2011.
Owners have contacted KFOX14 claiming Lopez has had their vehicles for more than six months and in some cases more than a year.
Lopez has also been accused of misusing insurance money, forging signatures, and not completing the work he was paid to do.
A sentencing date for Lopez has not been set. He faces up to a year in jail or two years probation. He could also be ordered to pay a fine not to exceed $4,000 and also be ordered to pay restitution to the victim, reported kfoxtv.com.
Lopez is also set to go on trial during the week of March 23 on another deceptive trade case.
Autobody News will continue to follow this case.