Former business partner scoffs at California runaway Prius owner; 'what the hell is this guy up to now?' 

Some of the best reporting thus far on the Toyota sudden acceleration recall has been done by Gawker.com's Jalopnik, an auto blog.

Some of the best reporting thus far on the Toyota sudden acceleration recall has been done by Gawker.com's Jalopnik, an auto blog.

Jalopnik's latest scoop is an interview with the former business partner of Jim Sikes, owner of the runaway Prius that caught the nation's attention last week when he claimed his Toyota wouldn't stop no matter what he did while zooming along at 90+ mph on a freeway.

Sikes' account of the incident was uncritically reported by journalists, and seemed on the verge of becoming the signature event in the Toyota sudden acceleration firestorm, especially since it occurred the same day as the Japanese automaker went on the offensive with a detailed critique of a damaging ABC News report that it had duplicated sudden acceleration in a Toyota.

Now comes Sikes' former business partner, William Sweet, who, according to Jalopnik, "says he went into business with Sikes, together opening up a paralegal services company called AAA California Aid in 1997. Sweet operated the main office and Sikes ran one in Los Banos, California. Sweet alleges numerous incidents of fraud and theft involving Sikes led him to dissolve their partnership, including an incident in which Sikes sent an employee to break into the main office to steal payment records."

Sweet told Jalopnik's Matt Hardigree that "As soon as I heard the words 'Jim Sikes,' I immediately woke up out of a dead sleep and thought, 'uh oh, what the hell is this guy up to now?' He's trying to do a scam, and get in on that lawsuit for the Toyota thing, that's immediately what i thought."

Hardigree has more, here.

By the way, has anybody else noticed the pattern of fraud in incidents like this, this, and this? And that is just a small sample of the back stories of fraud and misrepresentation that seem to be behind so many of the narrative-framing events of our day.

Somebody should start a web site that tracks the frauds, fakes, and cons behind the "news."

 

 

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Mark Tapscott

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