Belleville man swindles thousands from trusting residents in title scam

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by Lauren Trager / News 4

KMOV.com

Posted on September 3, 2013 at 9:54 PM

Updated Tuesday, Sep 3 at 10:00 PM

 (KMOV) -- A man people trusted with their hard-earned cash is now charged with stealing it.

“I have been going to him for over 20 years and nothing like this, this was really frustrating,” said victim Tom Ackerman.

All Ackerman wanted was tags and taxes paid for a brand new boat. So last year, he went to Duffey’s License and Title Company and handed over four checks, but got left high and dry

“I am at 14 months right now and it’s ridiculous,” he said.

Ackerman isn’t alone. News 4 was there in May, when Duffey’s was shut down and found other customers wondering where their money went.

Now, News 4 has learned more than 150 people were allegedly scammed by owner Brian Rainbolt.

The state said Rainbolt would collect the money, but wouldn’t actually get people their titles and renewals and he didn’t hand over more than $30,000 he owed to the state.

“It’s very surprising, that’s a lot of people a lot of people trust him in this area,” Ackerman said.

On Tuesday, Rainbolt was charged with theft and with running the business without a license.

Victims said they just want what they were owed.

“Are you at all confident that you will get any of your money back?” asked News 4 Reporter Lauren Trager. “Ugh, no, I don’t see that happening or if I do, it’s going to take years to make that happen,” Ackerman said.

Rainbolt hasn’t been arrested yet, but authorities believe he’s still in the area.

News 4 will continue to update this story as new information becomes available. 

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