MUSKEGON, MICH. - A Muskegon woman has a new mini-van after calling the WZZM 13 Watchdog team for help.
Ashley Robinson a bought a mini-van from a man who later refused to give it up. She says Michigan took the money to pay the man's back taxes. After months of going back and forth, she finally got the vehicle.
"I have lights, it doesn't make that God awful noise, the windows work, the door works and the locks work," Robinson said. "The kids like it because we can talk and we're not yelling."
Robinson says it's a big upgrade from what she had before. The old minivan also had no muffler, but she needed it to drive to work and to get her children to and from school.
Unable to afford a new one, Robinson applied for a one-time only assistance program with the state of Michigan. She was approved and started looking for a new vehicle. She went to ACL auto on Apple Avenue in Muskegon, where she met a man named Charley Guptill.
He offered to sell her his 2005 dodge caravan for $1,450. Unfortunately, the vehicle took a long time to get. That’s because the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services issued a check to Guptill, but the money was intercepted by the Michigan Department of Treasury.
Robinson says Guptill owes $15,000 in back taxes. Guptill blames it on his former employee who was arrested for selling cars, pocketing the money, and not processing the proper paperwork.
"And he's not releasing the money to me because he didn't get paid," Robinson said.
Robinson says she got no help from the state, so she called 13 On Your Side. One week later, she finally got her new mini-van.
"The state decided they would take the money back and re-issue a check to him for $1450," Robinson said. So, Guptill got his money and Ashley got the minivan. "I just wanted a different vehicle. I just needed something better and safer for my kids.
"I got it, I'm ecstatic."
The MDHHS said it couldn't give us any details about the case citing privacy concerns, but we know that they investigated the issue as soon as we brought it to their attention and let us know that it had been fixed.
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