De Blasio admin spent millions at crooked car dealership

While accusing Major World Auto of ripping off low-income people and immigrants, the de Blasio administration spent millions on vehicles from the dubious dealership, The Post has learned.

Major World, which hawks used and new cars on sprawling lots in Long Island City, blared in ads, “We have 3,000 cars to choose from! No credit? Bad credit? Everyone will be approved!”

After a lengthy investigation, the city Department of Consumer Affairs accused Major World of “deceptive and illegal practices designed to profit from low-income and non-English speaking consumers, while saddling them with overpriced loans and defective cars.”

The DCA found the company so crooked it sought $30 million in fines and license revocation.

But after a 22-day hearing — including testimony from Spanish-speaking victims — administrative law Judge Alessandra Zorgniotti slapped the company last month with a $3.1 million fine, and ordered $210,000 restitution to about 40 customers.

In her Jan. 24 ruling, Zorgniotti spared Major World’s licenses, citing the company’s vows to clean up any problems.

It was a relatively small price to pay. Under a series of contracts, the city has spent $72.1 million on new vehicles for the NYPD and other agencies at Major World Chevrolet and Major World Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram over the past five years, data posted on CheckbookNYC show.

At the same time, DCA fielded about 375 complaints about Major World — more than any other dealership, spokeswoman Abigail Lootens said.

City Comptroller Scott Stringer criticized the hypocrisy.

“I’m disturbed that the city continues to do business with a company it believes has engaged in predatory, illegal activity targeting low income, non-English speaking New Yorkers,” he said in a statement to The Post.

“The city’s money shouldn’t be going to businesses that hurt our communities.”

City Council Speaker Corey Johnson agreed.

“The administration should reassess any contracts it has with Major World. Companies hurting consumers should not be rewarded with city contracts.”

De Blasio spokeswoman Jane Meyer said the city has not awarded Major World any new contracts since the company was found guilty. She would not discuss any plans going forward.

Major World’s lawyer, Steven Harfenist, said the company “strongly disagrees” with Zorgniotti’s ruling, and will appeal in Manhattan Supreme Court. He said the 40 consumers whose complaints were raised at trial are less than one-half of one percent of Major World’s 40,000 customers during the five years covered by the DCA probe.

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