Anthony Hodel isn't exactly the picture of success these days.
The scraps of his once-booming Platinum Warranty Corporation are still being sifted through in bankruptcy court after Hodel looted the business, leaving hundreds of customers waiting for checks that never came ["Platinum Tony
," October 12, 2005].
Now he's adding to his impressive resume as a small-time criminal. He recently pleaded guilty to misdemeanor title violations in Summit County for abandoning his used car lot in Cuyahoga Falls before his customers could get their vehicle titles.
Hodel was spared jail time because he promised to make restitution. Unfortunately, that still leaves Tanya Labbe and her friend Bethany Eagle shit-outta-luck. The two bought cars from Hodel last year, and still don't have the titles. But they aren't among the customers Hodel was ordered to make good with.
Labbe, a single mother of four and a full-time student, has no choice but to keep driving her van with illegal plates. Eagle, who recently gave birth, will be returning to work next week, and can't worry that she's driving her Chevy Blazer with expired tags.
"I have to use my car," says Eagle. "Just hoping if I get pulled over, and I explain it to a cop, they'll understand." -- Jared Klaus