Citing insufficient evidence, authorities declined to file charges against a Miami Shores, Fla., dealership finance manager arrested on suspicion of identity theft.
Tropical Chevrolet Finance Manager Sofia Pinedo, 31, was arrested by the Miami Shores Police Department in February after Jennifer Umanzor reported appearing as a co-signer on an ex-boyfriend’s 2016 Porsche Macan without authorization, police said.
Assistant State Attorney Charles Heinemann declined this month to file a charge on the single count, and Pinedo has returned to Tropical Chevrolet. She had been placed on leave, the dealership said in February.
“She did nothing wrong,” Pinedo’s attorney, Michael Gottlieb, of Michael A. Gottlieb PA, said Tuesday. “She’s thrilled to be back at work.”
Gottlieb said he had explained the circumstances to the prosecutor’s office.
Pinedo originally told authorities buyer Bryce Crawford and his ex-girlfriend Umanzor were present at the dealership for the signing on the Macan, which had a “finance amount” of $53,051.15.
But police said Crawford and Umanzor agreed Umanzor wasn’t present. Crawford, who has not been accused in the case, said the dealership had planned to mail the paperwork to Umanzor, according to police.
Pinedo had been mistaken about the Sept. 30 deal when she talked to police this year, and she couldn’t recall the circumstances of the transaction, according to Gottlieb. He noted the interaction occurred on a day Pinedo handled six deals and oversaw at least six others.
“While the defendant may be guilty of professional incompetence, the State has obtained no evidence that she intentionally allowed the victim’s identification to be used illegally,” Heinemann wrote in a memo March 4.
Gottlieb noted Heinemann’s “little dig” at Pinedo’s skill and said everyone made mistakes.
Gottlieb called Pinedo good at her job and said the incident likely would make her more diligent.
“She’ll probably be better moving forward,” he said. “We’ll all be better off for it.”
Pinedo told Automotive News she’d worked as a finance manager for nearly a decade, handled 70 to 80 deals a month and never had an issue with a customer or employer before.
Pinedo advised fellow finance managers to “be aware,” saying what happened to her could happen to anyone.
“It’s such a quick business,” she said.
According to an investigator, Crawford was adamant Umanzor agreed to co-sign the loan, while she was adamant she had not done so. Police said they couldn’t make a determination either way.
No one else has been accused in the case, according to police.
Crawford and an attorney for Umanzor declined to comment Tuesday on the state attorney’s decision.