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Mark Foley Says He Was “Carjacked” Out Of His Porsche!

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Mark Foley Says He Was “Carjacked” Out Of His Porsche!

Mark Foley

Mark Foley’s not so happy to have lost his Porsche (Mike Jachles Photo)

WEST PALM BEACH — Former U.S. Congressman Mark Foley says he’s been ripped off by one of South Florida’s highest-profile exotic car dealers in what he claims is a pyramid scheme a la Bernie Madoff.

The Republican ex-congressman, who represented a Palm Beach to Fort Pierce district for five terms before he resigned his seat after sexting with an underage male former congressional page, is among dozens of expensive-car owners who may have been taken for a ride by the owner of a bankrupt car dealership that specializes in used Rolls-Royces, Bentleys, Aston Martins, Ferraris and other exotic wheels.

And the West Palm Beach-based Chariots of Palm Beach, according to federal court papers, could leave investors, banks and buyers as much as $50 million in the hole.

“We’re not dealing with billions like Bernie Madoff,” Foley said, referring to the former Wall Street investor now serving 150 years in a federal penitentiary after bilking investors out of $13 billion. “But I am the victim of a classic pyramid scheme.”

Until it closed recently, Chariots of Palm Beach was a fancy consignment store where multi-millionaires dropped off cars they no longer wanted. The dealership then tried to sell those cars for a commission.

Over the past few months, according to the bankruptcy documents, Chariots of Palm Beach founder Hugh Bate is believed to have used the titles to cars he didn’t own to secure millions in loans he can’t pay back.

“It’s a real mess,” says Foley. “A federal court might have to determine the ownership of hundreds of cars.”

The new defunct Chariots of Palm Beach was a luxury car consignment store (chariotsofpb.com)

On August 10, Foley explains he was coincidentally at the Chariots of Palm Beach showroom when a shopper decided to buy the silver-colored Porsche Macan Foley wanted to get rid of.

Foley had bought it last year for $68,000 cash, and took it to the dealership in May. The 63-year-old ex-pol says the man paid the dealership $57,886 for his car before peeling off as he waved bye-bye.

Two months later, Foley is still waiting for the dealership to pay him – and he is worried he might never be shown the money.

“I feel like I’d been carjacked,” Foley now says, “except that nobody stuck a gun in a face and yelled at me to get out of my car.”

Foley says the buyer of his car, a Broward County developer whose name he forgot, did nothing wrong.

“He probably thinks he now owns a nice Porsche. It’s the dealership that did God knows what with my title,” Foley said, adding he didn’t personally sign over the title to the new owner.

Which begs the question: Why would a savvy fancy car lover like Foley go to a consignment store instead of an official Porsche dealer?

“Chariots had an extraordinary reputation,” Foley said, pointing out that the dealership was the area’s go-to place for rare exotic wheels. “They were able to get a better sales price for used cars than the official dealerships.”

And now, the ownership status of dozens of consigned Aston Martins, Bentley Azures and Ferrari Spiders, some of them worth in excess of $400,000, are in limbo.

The list of original owners included in the bankruptcy reads like a who’s who of East Coast business and society, including: New York real estate company owner Stephen Haymes; Palm Beach philanthropist Ross Meltzer, who brought a convertible Bentley to Chariots of Palm Beach months ago; Wolf Von Falkenberg, who’s famous in Palm Beach for his marriage to Standard Oil heiress Anne Terry Pierce McBride while she was on her deathbed; and Washington, D.C., developer Albert Van Metre Jr.

Former Assistant Palm Beach Gardens Police Chief Rick Facchine, whose BMW M4 is gathering dust in the shuttered up showroom, is also among the alleged victims. His car wasn’t sold, but he can’t get it back because the title may have been used by Bate to get a lender to loan him money. Facchine declined comment.

Foley says he and others have filed criminal complaints with West Palm Beach Police and the FBI. No criminal charges have been filed.

6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. 1Ronald

    September 27, 2017 at 3:48 pm

    Consignment can be a mess on the high end. It’s happened with art and now with autos. High End lends itself to ripping off someone else’s ride. If he saw the buyer drive off why didn’t he get the money then? Before leaving the dealership? These are usually cash purchases when you’re dealing high end. Lesson Learned.

  2. Mel Plontz

    September 27, 2017 at 9:59 pm

    Mr. Lundergard, this is Riley Diefenbach of GMAC Dealer Finance. How are you today Sir? I’m calling about those VIN #’s….

  3. 1Ronald

    September 28, 2017 at 7:16 am

    So the unwashed masses who can’t afford a nice ride need to hit a man when he’s down. Anything to feel good about their own miserable rotten selves. This has nothing to do with age, the ability to manage one’s own money and finances nor apparently his inability to be attracted to women. Let’s hear from more victims who’ve had similar fates with Chariots. There must be others.

  4. 1Ronald

    September 28, 2017 at 7:44 am

    Chariots of Palm Beach’s website is very much up and running including staff photos with about 46 nice rides featured and one black sheep. How did that under $20,000 Subaru get there? Are they nuts? They’re apparently also a new car dealership for Morgans. Recall one of my college professors used to own and drive one.

  5. 1Ronald

    September 28, 2017 at 7:59 am

    What many of us may find hard to understand is that Mark was at the dealership on August 10th when his car was sold to another buyer. Yet, Chariots filed Chapter 11 on August 3rd with $10 million debt. Here’s your RED flag. With assets of $1 to $10 million and liabilities of $10 to $50 million the clock definitely was ticking. Mark needs to start reading business journals.

  6. Kenneth Newman

    September 28, 2017 at 2:58 pm

    Maybe IF Mark Foley hadn’t been chasing little boys, this car issue wouldn’t have happened….This is his payback for his conservative, ugly views of life, and doesn’t KARMA work well !!!!

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