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New owners officially take over troubled Jacksonville dealership

I-TEAM: Beaver Chevrolet now owns the former Riverside Chevrolet

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Three months after the I-TEAM exposed Riverside Chevrolet on Philips Highway, which was accused of ruining customers' credit scores by failing to pay off loans on trade-ins as promised, the troubled dealership officially has new owners who promise a new commitment to the community.

The signs at the dealership have now changed to say Beaver Chevrolet, a takeover Beaver management tells the I-TEAM was finalized late last week.

You may recall, following a number of I-TEAM reports with angry customers -- many of them members of the military community -- several state agencies began investigating Riverside Chevrolet and the Ferguson family that owned it. It's also when Beaver Toyota executives made an agreement to take over managing the dealership.

"We are here to fix everything we can. We are going to be involved with anyone that has been negatively affected, from satisfying outstanding liens to helping repair credit reports to just helping establish that trust again," Beaver Toyota General Manager Nick Reuther told the I-TEAM in June.

Reuther also told us in June, Beaver's management had already paid $1.5 million to settle outstanding loans at that point, and were reimbursing employees who were owed money.

A deed filed with the Duval County Clerk of Courts shows that Riverside Chevrolet LLC sold the business to Autounlimited Services LLC for $10.7 million on August 14.  State corporation records show that Autounlimited Services LLC is registered to Michael Beaver of St. Augustine.

Now, Beaver isn't just managing the dealership, they now own it -- and the Ferguson family is no longer involved. 

The Beaver team wants all Jacksonville car buyers to know it's a brand new Chevrolet dealership on Philips Highway, telling the I-TEAM "a bright future is ahead and happy to be here." It has launched a marketing campaign, too, so people will see all over, including on billboards and television ads, Riverside Chevrolet is now Beaver Chevrolet. 

Follow all of our I-TEAM investigation into Riverside Chevrolet

May 3: Customers blame Riverside Chevrolet for ruining their credit
May 4: Jacksonville Chevy dealer responds to I-TEAM following complaints of ruined credit
May 7: Riverside Chevrolet cars burn in 'suspicious fire'
May 8: State launches investigation into Riverside Chevrolet
May 9: Riverside Chevrolet could receive $1K fines per violation
May 10: Former employees say working at Riverside Chevrolet was 'horrible'
May 14: Sources say Riverside Chevrolet to be sold following I-TEAM investigation
May 17: Customers: Riverside Chevrolet Isn't helping them, despite promise made to I-TEAM
May 25: Florida financial regulators now investigating Riverside Chevrolet 
May 18 Jacksonville dealership owes $450,000 in unpaid taxes, fees
May 30: Beaver Toyota management takes over Riverside Chevrolet
June 4: New regime looks to put Riverside Chevrolet's woes in rear view
June 22: State files 888-count complaint against Riverside Chevrolet
June 27: New lawsuit filed against Riverside Chevrolet

About the Authors:

Lifetime Jacksonville resident anchors the 8 and 9 a.m. weekday newscasts and is part of the News4Jax I-Team.