By Russ and Tiña De Maris
A Springville, Utah, RV manufacturer, Benjamin Ashley Grimes, is up on multiple charges, some of which stem from his alleged ripping-off of an Alaskan man who is terminally ill.
Back in 2015, the unidentified Homer, Alaska, resident ordered a Moby1 Expedition trailer from Grimes. The man, who planned to use his trailer with his “remaining time of good health on the road camping and visiting family,” picked up the rig in 2017.
However, a few weeks later, the trailer was involved in an accident in California. The customer brought the unit back to Moby1 for repairs, and an insurance company cut a $20,000 check to the outfit for those repairs. But according to a court filing, Grimes “failed to return the repaired trailer, and the funds were not returned” to the customer nor the insurance company. Instead, says the prosecutor, “[Grimes] ordered his employees to detach the upper teardrop cargo part of the trailer from the frame and place that cargo part on another frame and (Grimes) sold that trailer as new to another unidentified customer. (Grimes) took the VIN number tags from (the) original trailer frame, which were stickers, and proceeded to remove the numbers off the trailer frame with paint thinner.”
A raft of complaints have been filed against Grimes and Moby1, many centered around issues of down payments that the company required to begin production of units. Comments from unsatisfied customers say Grimes and the company missed production deadlines, and failed to return deposits when promised. According to ksl.com, the trailer building company filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in March.
Grimes has been charged with selling or buying without identification numbers, fraudulent alteration of an identification number, and theft by deception. In Utah, the charges are all second degree felonies, and if convicted, a person could face a prison term of one to 15 years and a fine of up to $10,000.
The Alaska man who got caught up in the situation is facing much worse. According to court filings, his health has deteriorated to the point where he can no longer leave home for more than a couple of weeks. His dreams of a peaceful end of life road trip are gone.