Jenison dealership owner gets jail for writing bad check

Becky Vargo • Apr 6, 2018 at 11:00 AM

A Hudsonville man and owner of a Jenison car dealership was ordered to serve 30 days in jail and perform 50 hours of community service for writing a bad check for almost $50,000.

Shawn David VanPortfliet, 44, will also be on probation for 18 months once he is released from jail.

VanPortfliet made no comment when asked by Judge Karen Miedema if he had anything to say at his sentencing hearing Monday in Ottawa County Circuit Court.

Defense attorney Tom Smith requested a restitution hearing to discuss the money that was owed.

The victim, Mitch Smit, owner of S&S Auto in Hudsonville, said VanPortfliet sold a vehicle to a client from another dealership, but that dealership would not take VanPortfliet’s check. So, VanPortfliet asked Smit to write the check to pay for the 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe. VanPortfliet then wrote a check to Smit, the victim said.

Smit said that VanPortfliet’s check bounced and Smit has yet to be compensated for the check VanPortfliet wrote. Smit said he has the title to the vehicle, but the people who bought the Tahoe still have the truck and are making payments on a bank loan.

Smit said that VanPortfliet has also filed bankruptcy since the incident.

“I’ve sold thousands and thousands of vehicles,” Smit said. “I never saw this coming.”

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