The strange, ongoing saga of Vahid Sedaghat

With a name like "Vahid Sedaghat"... well, it stands out when you see that in the paper. Twice in the past week I've come across it. And the very first time, I thought, "Ummmm.... I think I know who that is..."

Back in my pre-blog days, I wrote up a response to a KMSP-TV news story on Vahid. My basic premise, which I still stand by, is that this guy was no angel but the news story wasn't very fair or informative.

To repeat, I also stand by my "this guy was no angel" assessment....
Used-car salesman charged with fraud
A Little Canada businessman also has been charged with receiving stolen property, in addition to theft.

By PAT PHEIFER, Star Tribune
Last update: February 13, 2008 - 9:53 PM


A used-car salesman from Little Canada who allegedly sold defective vehicles to unwitting customers -- often immigrants with limited English proficiency -- has been charged with five counts of theft by swindle and one of receiving stolen property.
Vahid Sedaghat, 52, would become physically aggressive and hostile when buyers complained that their vehicles broke down shortly after the sales, said the criminal complaint filed Monday in Ramsey County District Court.
So, what happened to the case?

Alford plea offered by salesman who cashed check sent in error

Last update: April 17, 2009 - 12:57 AM

A former used-car salesman was sentenced Thursday in Ramsey County District Court to five years of probation for felony theft...

...The remaining charges were dismissed by District Judge Rosanne Nathanson at Thursday's hearing. In return for the plea, prosecutors agreed to not file charges in two other cases.
Whose cases were dismissed? I assume this young couple's story applies...

If Lord forgives, a couple decides, why can't they?

Burned in a car scam, a husband, wife learn an eternal truth: Give, and you get

By Emily Gurnon
Updated: 04/20/2009 11:32:32 PM CDT

Kyle and Ellen Hopson, of Burnsville, say their Christian faith has guided them in deciding to forgive the man who scammed them into buying a salvage car. So it s really nothing for me to say, You don t owe me that anymore, Kyle Hopson said. Because I hope this brings you to a place where you understand how you ve been forgiven by Jesus. (Pioneer Press: Scott Takushi)What would possess an otherwise normal, sane young couple to forgo $6,400 they could have recouped from a calculating thief?

Call it temporary insanity. Call it blind idealism.

Or call it forgiveness.

Kyle Hopson was 22 and living with his wife, Ellen, in her grandmother's basement in Lakeville in December 2006 when he answered an online ad in the Pioneer Press for a 2002 Honda Civic. The asking price — $6,400 — seemed incredibly low, so he put in a call to Little Canada used-car dealer Vahid Sedaghat.
Wow. That's all I can say. Wow.

To be 100% accurate, let's note that Vahid didn't "admit guilt" with his Alford plea -- what's commonly known as pleading "no contest" to a charge. It's the plea that Larry Craig should have made in 2007, rather than his "Guilty... but I don't really mean it" plea that he attempted.

Nevertheless, if you're looking for a used car, you're probably better served by avoiding Vahid Sedaghat.

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