PASCO COUNTY — Investigative documents filed in Pasco County Court this week lay out the state's case against Auto Legends Towing and Repair owner Debra Noonan. The Department of Agriculture and Consumer services charged Noonan with grand theft on August 30th.
She's accused of faking work on customer Mark Faltynek’s 2008 SUV.
“I am glad she's been charged. I’m happy about that,``said Faltynek, whose invoice shows he paid Auto Legends $1,150for two new catalytic converters last summer. Faltynek made a call for action in April after he said the state dropped the case.
In April I-Team Investigator Jackie Callaway asked Friendly Kia to inspect the vehicle. Master
Technician Jay Turner showed her that neither converter had been replaced. Turner said the parts had been spray painted to look new and there was still rust on the bolts indicating they had not been removed in years.
State investigators made the same discovery.
After ABC Action News asked regulators about Faltynek’s case, the state launched a criminal investigation into two customer complaints. The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services refused to comment on whether they are working on any other criminal cases involving Auto Legends.
The I-team checked and found Noonan had shut down Auto Legends. But in April, according to documents submitted to the state, she is listed as an officer in another Port Richey auto repair shop.
Noonan refused an on-camera interview, but told the I-Team in a text that an employee was to blame for what happened.
"I was not there and did not know what was going on...immediately after finding out there was an issue, I reimbursed Mark completely.” she wrote.
The 64-year-old Noonan was released after paying the $5,000 bail. She faces a third-degree felony, which could result in fines or prison time if she is found guilty.