Auto Business, Homes Raided by Federal Agents

By Lauren Steussy, Megan Tevrizian, Steven Luke and Rory Devine
|  Thursday, Dec 6, 2012  |  Updated 8:21 AM PDT
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Used luxury cars were towed away Wednesday night as evidence in a multi-agency raid at a Grantville dealership.

Used luxury cars were towed away Wednesday night as evidence in a multi-agency raid at a Grantville dealership.

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Auto Business, Homes Raided by Federal Agents

Federal agents raided the AutoHaus San Diego car lot in San Diego's Grantville neighborhood. NBC 7 reporter Steven Luke reports on the individuals who may be of interest to the many agencies who showed up to the lot and two homes Wednesday morning.

Multiple Agencies Raid Auto Business

Multiple law enforcement agencies raided a Grantville car dealership and two homes Wednesday.
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Multiple law enforcement agencies raided a Grantville luxury used-car dealership Wednesday.

Authorities carried lock cutters as they entered Autohaus on Mission Gorge Road in the raid that began around 7 a.m. Wednesday, according to San Diego County sheriff's deputies.

Multiple people were brought out in handcuffs and taken to the El Cajon Police Department. Boxes full of papers, a laptop and other items were removed from the dealership.

The California Highway Patrol led the operation. Authorities were also present from the IRS, the DEA, the El Cajon Police Department, San Diego County Sheriff's Department, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the FBI. 

The Sheriff's Department spokesperson could not confirm if other similar raids were also taking place in the county, but said the raid was a "huge operation." The U.S. Attorney confirmed that law enforcement activity was taking place but did not comment further. 

NBC 7 witnessed raids of two homes by agents at about the same time.

One of the homes is located in the 6700 block of Park Ridge Boulevard. The other is in the 6000 block of Madra Avenue. Records show those homes are owned by people in the auto industry, but authorities would not specify any connection to the auto business raid from Wednesday morning.

The car lot raided Wednesday is owned by Amir Bahador and his son Roman Bahador, according to neighbors who confirmed to NBC San Diego that both men lived at the homes that were raided Wednesday morning. Amir no longer lives in the home, though.

IRS agents could be seen entering the home on Madra Avenue. 

According to court documents, Bahador has made some of his customers very unhappy over the years. NBC 7 found numerous civil cases filed from by people from all over San Diego county, naming Amir Bahador as a defendant.

We also found state cases under Roman's name, as well as cases under the name of his car companies -- auto port limited, and European collections, among other names.

The cases include breach of contract, breach of warranty, bankruptcy filings, filings involving a tenant landlord dispute -- many dismissed after being settled.

Neighbors and a tenent in Amir's business confirmed that the picture on the right is of Amir. 

For example, in one, the plaintiff, who says he is a friend, alleges Amir sold a car to him claiming it was in excellent condition, and had never been in an accident --- only to discover the car's frame had been damaged in an accident.

The case was dismissed after being settled, with a payment due to buyer.

A federal bankruptcy protection claim was also filed.

The nature of the raids is still unclear at this time. 

Ed. Note: An earlier version of this story reported that the dealership involved was located on Balboa Avenue. 

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