Dealerships Owned by Ex-NFL Stars Face Collapse, Litigation
500 cars sold out of trust?
A once rapidly expanding dealership group—owned by auto retail veteran Michael Saporito and former NFL linebackers Jessie Armstead and Antonio Pierce—with stores in Michigan, Pennsylvania and New Jersey are now facing lawsuits from Nissan and Hyundai's captive finance arms after allegedly selling nearly 500 vehicles worth more than $10.5 million out of trust, with 98 other vehicles missing.
Uncertainty about the stores' future has spurred employees to leave, resulting in backups in orders and vehicle service for customers. Partner Stephen Dietrich, who frequently provides legal assistance to dealers, told Automotive News that Nissan likely doesn't want the stores to go dark and could be trying behind the scenes to find another operator for the stores or negotiating with the owners to have them sell the dealerships within a certain time frame.