Kruse International Investigated For Alleged Fraud In Tennessee

By Jeff Neumeyer

Kruse International Investigated For Alleged Fraud In Tennessee

June 18, 2010 Updated Oct 7, 2009 at 10:26 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, IN (Indiana's NewsCenter) --- A spokesperson for a city in Eastern Tennessee says Dean Kruse and his auction company are at the center of a fraud investigation.

A high-profile federal agency is also apparently working on the case.

We couldn't reach anyone from the U.S. Secret Service for confirmation, but the public information officer for the City of Sevierville Tennessee, told Indiana’s NewsCenter that Secret Service agents are looking at whether Kruse International may be linked to incidents of fraud there and in other cities as well.

Dean Kruse is the head of the company that conducts the big classic car auction in Auburn each Labor Day Weekend.

Complaints have surfaced recently that Kruse has fallen behind in paying debts.

Now, police in Sevierville Tennessee say multiple complaints have been filed related to a June 20th auction held in that city.

The city of Sevierville itself, which provided Kruse space to hold his auction, alleges it never got its rent money.

Bob Stahlke/Sevierville Tennessee: " He paid for the use of the facility with a check, the check came back insufficient funds and our attempts to get payment since then have failed. The check was in the amount of $8,500. We've identified several other victims from that car show as well, so, that kind of got our investigation going."

Kruse International did not respond to our request for comment, but on September 14th, a Kruse statement indicated the company was getting back on track, and that a policy change has been instituted so that auction car buyers can’t take possession of vehicles or car titles until they pay Kruse first, something designed to restore Kruse's financial well-being.

Stahlke says multiple law enforcement agencies are working on cases where Kruse is accused of fraud.

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