A Wyoming man who was convicted of posing as a licensed car dealer has been given 12 to 30 years in a Nebraska prison.
52-year-old Thomas Merchant, of Cheyenne, was convicted of being an
unlicensed dealer. He was sentenced on Thursday.
Prosecutors say Merchant used a forged dealer's license when he
bought 19 vehicles from the Nebraska Auto Auction last June. The
business said the checks Merchant wrote for the vehicles bounced.
Nebraska law requires car buyers to be either consumers or
Merchant originally faced a separate felony theft charge for the
checks, but it was dismissed.
In court Thursday, Merchant apologized for his lengthy criminal
history. That history increased his sentence because he was found
to be a habitual criminal.