ABC27 Investigates: Used Car Deal Gone Bad?

CARLISLE, Pa. (WHTM) – Linda Horn says she feels betrayed.

“This was not a gift given to Trooper Lentz,” she said.

It all started in April 2007 when Horn sold her father’s car to state police Trooper Kelly Lentz.

“I sold it to him for $8,000,” Horn said.

Horn still has the $8,000 check Lentz wrote to her in 2007 for her dad’s 2002 Buick LeSabre because she forgot to cash it. She says she found the check buried in a bunch of paperwork seven years later. When she realized what had happened, she reached out to Lentz. Horn says he did not offer to pay for the car.

Horn lost her mother, father, and husband around the same time she sold the car. She says she misplaced the check during her grief and was shocked Lentz never reached out to her to say the check was never cashed.

“I am severely hurt that someone that wears that uniform could do that to someone who had just lost her husband and both of her parents, the three most important people in my life,” said Horn.

Horn took Lentz to court, but it was too late.

“The judge ruled in his favor due to the statute of limitations, but she made the comment that his actions were despicable,” Horn said.

Horn filed a complaint with Pennsylvania State Police. A trooper came to her house to interview her. Horn provided ABC27 with a copy of the interview.

Below is an excerpt from that interview:

Trooper: What was the nature of your complaint?
Horn: It is in reference to Trooper Lentz owing money for a car that I sold him.

Trooper: Was it your intention to give Trooper Lenz the car for free?
Horn: Absolutely not.
Trooper: When did you discover the check wasn’t cashed?
Horn: October of 2015.

Trooper: How did you discover that?
Horn: I was going through boxes of paperwork.

Trooper: Do you feel that you have any fault in this incident?
Horn: I do, for not noticing, but I am hoping that someone can at least understand what I had been through.

Trooper: What were you going through during this time period?
Horn: A horrible depressed state of mind.

Trooper: That was due to the loss of your husband and your parents?
Horn: Yes

Trooper: Has your opinion of the Pennsylvania State Police been negatively affected by this incident?
Horn: Absolutely

Two months after the interview, Horn received a letter from Pennsylvania State Police stating their “investigation revealed that Sgt. Lentz was in violation of department regulation and a disciplinary action report was issued.”

“I made the mistake by not cashing the check, but he made the mistake of not honoring it. I am appalled that he can wear that uniform,” Horn said.

ABC27 reached out to Lentz and his attorney for several weeks leading up to this story and they did not return multiple calls. That changed about 48 hours before the story was set to air. Lentz’s attorney, Gregory Hollinger, reached out to ABC27 on Labor Day.

In an email to ABC27, Hollinger claims Lentz sent Horn a second check for the car about two weeks after he wrote the first one in 2007. According to his attorney, Lentz claims Horn called him and requested another check written out to her to father’s estate. Lentz says it was check number 560.

Hollinger provided ABC27 with Lentz’s 2007 bank statements which show check #560 for $8,000 cleared Lentz’s account on June 7, 2007. The statement does not show who the check was written out to. ABC27 asked Lentz’s attorney to provide us with a copy of the check, but he says the copy does not exist because PSECU only keeps those types of records for seven years.

Horn provided ABC27 with the bank statements of her father’s account. ABC27 found no $8,000 deposits into the account.

Horn denies Lentz’s claims, saying she never called him and asked for a second check. She still maintains she was never paid for the car.

Hollinger sent a letter to Horn’s attorney last year. In that letter, Hollinger states they will take legal action against Horn if she talks to the media.

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