Investigators requested a search warrant for the banking information of a Chevrolet salesman accused of kidnapping a disabled customer in Tennessee, taking nearly $200,000 from his accounts.
An affidavit by Chattanooga Police Officer Matthew Hennessee, a member of an FBI task force, seeks a warrant to seize the bank account of Daniel Bryant, a salesman for Mountain View Chevrolet, as part of the investigation.
Bryant has not been charged in the case.
“The case you are referencing is active and ongoing," the Chattanooga Police Department said in an email to Automotive News. "The incident report is not available for release at this time.”
The dealership, in a statement to local television station NewsChannel 9, said Bryant has been terminated.
"Management at Mtn. View Chevrolet is aware of the investigation being conducted by the FBI into one of our former employees, Daniel Bryant," the statement said. "The dealership was not involved in, or even aware of, any alleged attempt on the part of Mr. Bryant to defraud a customer of our business. Mr. Bryant is no longer employed by Mtn. View Chevrolet, and we continue to work with the authorities to assist in resolving this matter."
Automotive News was unable to reach a manager at the dealership for further comment.
The affidavit said police were called to a Chattanooga bank last Thursday in response to a report of a kidnapping and spoke to a man on the scene. The victim, whose leg is amputated and who is paralyzed on one side from a work accident, told officers that he had been taken against his will on Monday, April 1, and forced to withdraw thousands of dollars from his bank account.
The victim said he recently bought a pickup at the dealership after receiving a "substantial financial settlement" resulting from the work accident. He took his vehicle to the dealership for service on Monday, and Bryant offered to drive him home. Over the course of two days, the affidavit said, Bryant held the victim against his will and transported him to several bank branches in the area, forcing him to withdraw money from his account.
The victim said he took out nearly $200,000 in cash and cashier's checks made out to Bryant under fear of death. Each transaction was detailed in the affidavit.
The victim also said Bryant took him to a hotel in Georgia and took his cell phone and credit cards, the document said. He said Bryant forced him to smoke crack cocaine.
It's unclear whether Bryant has been arrested or whether authorities know his whereabouts. Federal authorities could not be reached by Automotive News for further comment.