Auto sales owner charged for fraudulent documents in title attempt

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CONCORD –– A Massachusetts man was arrested Monday on charges of attempting to use fraudulent documents to obtain a vehicle title, according to investigators from the New Hampshire State Police.

Joel Paniagua, 35, of Lawrence, owner of Henriquez Auto Sales in Salem, was taken into custody in Concord without incident.

He is accused of trying to submit fraudulent documents during a salvage inspection at the Manchester Division of Motor Vehicles on March 22.

A warrant for Paniagua’s arrest was obtained prior to his arrest.

He is charged with tampering with public records or information, officials said. His arraignment is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. on Oct. 16 in the 9th Circuit Court – District Division – Manchester.

Salvage inspections occur when vehicles deemed a total loss by an insurance company have been repaired.

Once the inspection is complete, a decal is affixed to the vehicle indicating it is salvaged, and a new title is issued by the Division of Motor Vehicles.

Investigators are encouraging anyone with information to contact Detective Sergeant Craig Gagne.

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