The Norman Transcript

June 20, 2013

Man faces charges for alleged Craigslist car-selling scam

By Jessica Bruha
The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — A Norman man faces several charges after allegedly collecting money for a car he was advertising on Craigslist that he never sold.

Billy Joe McCauley, 21, was charged with obtaining cash or merchandise by false pretenses, two counts of computer fraud or unlawful use of a computer or system and a felony value of false pretenses, bogus check or con game. The charges were filed Wednesday in Cleveland County District Court.

In two separate incidents, McCauley collected money from individuals after they had contacted him about a car he had listed for sale on Craigslist, according to the affidavit filed with charges. In both incidents, McCauley told the individuals involved that the car was at a different location and told them where to find it; the individuals never found the car, records show.

Between the two reported incidents, McCauley collected $1,000, according to the affidavit.

All individuals involved identified the subject they met up with as McCauley by selecting him through separate photo line-ups that were administered at the Norman Police Department, the affidavit said.

The most recent incident occurred Monday after three individuals met McCauley at a Norman apartment complex after responding to an automobile ad on Craigslist. The man who responded to the ad gave McCauley $300 and agreed to give him the remaining $400 after he got the car, the affidavit said.

McCauley gave him a key and told him the car was parked across the street at his sister’s house. While two of the men went to go see the car, one of them stayed behind at the apartment complex.

After a short period of time, McCauley got into another vehicle with an unidentified female and left the area. The man who stayed behind said he attempted to ask McCauley where he was going but McCauley didn’t reply.

When the other two men got back after failing to locate the vehicle, they couldn’t make any further contact with McCauley, the affidavit said.

The first incident was June 1 when a man and a juvenile responded to McCauley’s automobile ad for a 1999 GMC Sierra on Craigslist. The man and juvenile met McCauley at a different apartment complex in Norman, records show.

McCauley told the man that the vehicle for sale was around the corner at his father’s house and he was unable to leave his residence because he was watching children, the affidavit said.

McCauley gave the man a key and said he needed the money before they went to see the vehicle. The juvenile gave McCauley $700, records said.

McCauley gave driving directions to the vehicle, but they never found it.

After the two could not find the car, they returned to the original meeting location and couldn’t locate McCauley around the apartment complex and he wasn’t responding to phone calls or text messages, the affidavit said.