Photo: Justin Michael Cornett
May 15, 2020 – Ventura County-For a three week period in late April and early May of 2020, 33-year-old Los Angeles resident Justin Michael Cornett was living the life of a car buyer of considerable financial means.
According to the report filed on May 14th by Ventura County Sheriff’s Department East County Investigations Bureau spokesman Detective Paul Ferruzza, Cornett was contacted by detectives on May 4th pursuant to a call from a sales manager at Silver Star Chevrolet in Thousand Oaks indicating that “a fraudulent vehicle purchase was in progress.”
When the cops showed up and questioned Cornett at the dealership, they learned that he was in the process of arranging for credit to buy a used Mercedes-Benz with a value in excess of $20,000.
What made the transaction of interest to detectives was the fact that Cornett was offering “personal identifying information” including the address, social security number and date of birth of another individual.
Further investigation at the scene indicated that Cornett had arrived at the dealership driving a Range Rover vehicle valued at over $40,000 which had been recently purchased by him—using the same false identification records—from another auto dealer in Hermosa Beach, California.
Cornett was taken into custody at the scene. While he was being transported to Ventura County Jail for booking on charges of Burglary, Looting During a State of Local Emergency, Identity Theft, and Possession of a Controlled Substance, the Range Rover was loaded onto a flatbed truck and returned to the Hermosa Beach dealership.
Cornett’s bail was set at $50,000, which he posted prior to his release from custody pending arraignment at a later date.
Photo: Courtesy Ventura County Jail Booking