(WSVN) - A South Florida man spent years building his auto body business, but he says it was all taken from him after he got sick. 7’s Kevin Ozebek investigates.

Repairing cars has always been in Julio Concepcion’s blood.

Julio Concepcion, business owner: “My whole life, since I was a toddler, I was just always handling my grandfather’s tools, and I mean, I was raised around it.”

So opening up his own body shop in Opa-Locka back in 2013 was the fulfillment of a dream.

Julio Concepcion: “It pretty much was like the road was paved for me to go in that direction.”

Julio incorporated his business with the state and included his initials in the shop’s name: JC Performance of South Florida, Inc.

But now that name no longer belongs to him.

Julio Concepcion: “I built that name.”

As Julio’s business grew, his health declined.

In 2017, he had surgery on his spleen.

Julio Concepcion: “It was supposed to be a simple surgery that got complicated. They punctured my intestines in the process, and I ended up spending about close to a little over a year of recovery.”

Julio was forced to close his shop. He changed his corporate status with the state and says he listed the business as inactive so he could keep the name.

Julio Concepcion: “I said, ‘I want to put it on pause. I want to be able to, if I want to go back, I want it to be available. If anything, in the future, you’d have to pay for it to bring it back up to date.'”

But last year, when he tried to reactivate his business, he discovered someone else had already opened up a business with his company’s name.

State records show in 2021, the business was reinstated by “Francisco I. Gonzalez Garcia.”

Corporate records list his address at a condo complex in Miami.

We went there to find Francisco I. Gonzalez Garcia, but there were no names listed on the condo directory. We also couldn’t find his name on any property records for the complex.

State records also show the business is operating out of the same warehouse where Julio ran his shop.

Julio Concepcion: “That completely, like, really got under my skin.”

But the warehouse owner tells 7 Investigates there is no auto body shop there.

To reinstate a business under a new owner, attorney Andrew Levi says someone simply has to file the paperwork with the Department of State’s website, Sunbiz.org.

Andrew Levi, attorney: “And there is absolutely no verification of that information.”

In fact, the Department of State tells 7 Investigates, “Documents filed with the division of corporations are accepted at face value.”

Andrew Levi: “It’s only after the fact, when there’s an issue regarding the true identity of the people behind the business, that that information comes out.”

For Julio, it’s not just about the loss of his business name. He got a letter from the IRS telling him tax returns have been filed for JC Performance of South Florida, Inc., but he did not file them.

Julio Concepcion: “Now tax season is around, and now I don’t know what’s going to happen.”

Julio is now repairing cars from his backyard.

He still wants to reopen his shop.

Julio Concepcion: “There’s absolutely no choice but to try to find another name or try to rephrase it or something.”

He has filed reports with police and the IRS.

He wants to pump the brakes on any legal problems that could be waiting down the road.


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