I've test driven my fair share of new Porsches. In some instances the salesman has been in the car with me. In others, I've had the car to myself for up to 30 minutes. However, no matter what the situation, I don't think I've ever put more than 20 miles on a Porsche during a test drive (not including press cars obviously). Jeffery Todd Crystal, on the other hand, put 2,230 miles on a 2011 Porsche Panamera during his "test drive".
Here's What Happened
According to a story in The Northwest Florida Daily News, a jury found Crystal guilty of both grand theft over $100,000 and passing a bad check. Apparently, back in the summer of 2011, Crystal appeared at Porsche of Destin, Florida looking like a serious buyer. After what we assume was some type of negotiation, Destin handed over a business check in the amount of $109,588.74 and took possession of a 2011 Porsche Panamera before driving off the lot. As the transaction took place after normal banking hours it wasn't until the next day that the dealership learned the account had insufficient funds to cover the purchase.
After what we assume was a moment of panic the dealership reached out to Crystal, twice. Each time they were assured that problem with the check would be fixed. That didn't happen. Instead, according to the police reports, the dealership next saw him on the 11th of July when he returned the Panamera. Eleven days after taking possession of the Porsche, Crystal apparently racked up over 2200 miles. The Panamera left the dealership with 70 miles on the clock and was returned with 2,300.
This Wasn't His First Porsche
It seems that Crystal is a gifted and repeat grifter. Investigators learned that not only was the check he handed over bad, the business didn't exist at its represented location. More importantly, the account the check was drawn on contained no more than $68.44 at the time it was presented. To add insult to injury, Crystal is said to have been on felony probation for fraud and theft. It seems he did the same thing, for another Porsche, back in 2004.
While Crystal has not yet been sentenced, he has been convicted. Depending on how the judge sees things, Crystal could be looking at up to 60 years in jail for his extended test drive. Who knew a dealer accepted a check for a $100k+ Porsche?
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[Source: The Northwest Florida Daily News]