Used auto parts salesman with dubious history strikes again

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A used auto parts salesman who has been sued 50 times and accused of deceiving customers by Missouri's Attorney General is back in business. FOX 4 Problem Solver Linda Wagar met the latest unhappy customer and has all the details on a salesman who keeps moving his location, but doesn't seem to have cleaned up his act.

Josh Merriman was trying to buy a reliable used engine for his Jeep Cherokee. He thought he'd found one on Craigslist. Merriman wrote a check for $650 to Wes Emert who told Merriman he'd been in business for 35 years.

That's true. Emert, who's in his 70s, has the dubious track record to prove it. He has a prominent place in the FOX 4 Problem Solver Hall of Shame and a host of victims. Plus, three years ago the Missouri Attorney General's office was granted a permanent injunction against Emert for selling customers bad auto parts, lying about warranties and then refusing to refund any money.

"I believed he was on the up and up," Merriman said.

Merriman even left his Jeep with Emert so that the engine he bought from him could be installed. He was supposed to pick it up in a week. But when he called a week later, the news wasn't good.

At first Emert said he had the wrong engine and would have to order a new one. It would take a couple of days. But every time Merriman called he heard a new excuse.

Finally, Merriman demanded to see his car, fearing that it was being sold for parts.

"As soon as I told him that, he stopped responding to my phone calls," Merriman explained.

That's when Merriman drove to Emert's latest location in Independence and picked up his Jeep. He discovered the new engine that was supposedly being installed wasn't in his car. In fact, it was the same engine that Merriman had driven in with.

Plus, the car had an extra 3,000 miles on it. Merriman said a security guard working in the building told him that Emert had been driving the car for the last three weeks.

As soon as Merriman drove away, he got a call from Emert, promising to make things right. He said he was told he would get a full refund. But that refund has never arrived.

Now Merriman wants to warn others.

"I don't want him to keep being able to do this to people," he said.

But Wes Emert has been doing this to people for decades.

Problem Solver Linda Wagar called Emert in an attempt to get Merriman's money back, but has yet to hear from him. Emert still owes the Attorney General's office more than $2,000. That money was supposed to have been paid in full three years ago as part of his restitution to the customers he cheated.