Published January 13, 2013
Centralia car dealer owners face fraud chargesSTEPHANIE SCHENDEL
The former owners of a used car dealership in Centralia are facing criminal charges of felony theft and fraud after Security State Bank alleged that the business stole hundreds of thousands of dollars through bad checks and unpaid loans. Charges were filed last week in Lewis County Superior Court against 47-year-old Keith Birdwell and his 44-year-old wife Lorinne Birdwell, the owners of Birdwell Auto Sales. They are facing two counts of first-degree theft and three counts of felony unlawful issuance of a bank check. The Centralia Police Department announced last November that the couple was under investigation for more than $1 million in fraud and theft after allegedly not paying the flooring loans issued by the Centralia branch of Security State Bank to the dealership for purchase of vehicles.