McAllen Man Faces Charges for Falsifying Vehicle Registration

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EDINBURG – The Hidalgo County Tax Office is now taking a stronger stance against vehicle registration fraud.

“It’s been pretty exciting to have the new car smell for as long as it will last," Michelle Rodriguez told CHANNEL 5 NEWS.

Michelle Rodriguez recently bought a new car. She said she couldn't wait to get the keys in her hand.

"I was pretty anxious just to get the keys and throw all my stuff in and my husband is in law enforcement so he was pretty thorough, went through everything with a fine pic and you know made sure everything matched,” said Rodriguez.

Paul Villarreal is the Hidalgo County Tax Assessor-Collector.  He said it's a good thing Rodriguez's husband took the time to make sure everything was correct.

Villarreal's office is in charge of handling all the vehicle registrations and title transfers in the county. He told CHANNEL NEWS his office is taking a stand against anyone falsifying registration information.

"There are laws in place so when you falsify something you’re actually breaking the law," Villarreal explained.

Villarreal's office arrested Ramiro Maldonado on Thursday.  On Friday, he was charged with forgery, falsifying names and information on a vehicle registration.

He said what Maldonado did can hurt the county. He explained Maldonado changed the vehicle's purchase amount.

Villarreal said that can lead to the county missing out on funds needed to repair roads, bridges and schools.

He told CHANNEL 5 NEWS falsified information can hurt the buyer as well.

"There has been cases where somebody falsified a title and it looks like nothing is wrong with it but at the same time we had found that the vehicle was stolen," Villarreal said.

Villarreal explained in those cases, his offices are forced to confiscate the vehicle. The buyer is then left with no car and no money.

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