Former owner of the Family Auto dealership in Toledo, Edward Louis Polaco, 42, has been charged with 20 counts of theft involving alleged transactions at the car outlet that apparently went awry.
Polaco, of Marion, was charged in informations filed in Tama County District Court last week by Assistant Tama County Attorney Patrick McMullen. They included five charges of 1st degree theft, five counts of 2nd degree theft, six counts of 3rd degree theft and four counts of 4th degree theft.
McMullen told The News-Herald the cases resulted from Polaco "getting over extended with the car dealership and using customer money." He said the various charges stem from funds involved with taxes, titles and fees, gap insurance and extended warranties.
Edward Louis Polaco
Polaco was not in custody and had not yet been arraigned here at News-Herald deadline, authorities said.
Polaco also faces two 1st degree theft counts, a 2nd degree theft charge and a charge of ongoing criminal conduct in Linn County according to online court records.
In addition to Family Auto in Toledo he also operated a Family Auto used car sales operation in Cedar Rapids for a time. Those charges were filed in Linn County in May, 2012.
Polaco purchased the Austin Motors dealership at the junction of U.S. Highways 63 and then-U.S. 30 in Toledo in November, 2007.
He previously had been involved in car sales in California and New Mexico according to the news account of the new dealership at the time.
In mid-2009, General Motors announced it was discontinuing about 1,000 Chevrolet dealer franchises nation-wide as part of the company's restructuring plan. Polaco's Family Auto was included in the cutback.
But soon after, Polaco credited an "aggressive community effort" on the part of Tama-Toledo for aiding in saving his franchise reported in a story in The Toledo Chronicle.
However, on about March 1, 2010, the dealership abruptly closed and 10 employees lost their jobs.