ALMA. Neb. — An Alma man has been charged with operating an illegal car dealership.

Max D. Siegel, 53, is charged in Harlan County Court with two counts of acting without a license, a felony that carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Siegel was arrested Wednesday after being served a search warrant, according to the Nebraska State Patrol.

The arrest followed a nearly monthlong investigation by the State Patrol, Nebraska Motor Vehicle Industry Licensing Board and the Harlan County Attorney's Office into the operation of Siegel's dealership, Midwest Auto Sales. A total of 36 vehicles were in inventory, and authorities seized 23 vehicles from the property. Motor vehicle titles, financial records and money also were seized.

According to court documents, Siegel sold two vehicles without properly titling or registering the vehicles in his name and operated without a license.

Siegel posted bond and was released from the Harlan County Jail on Wednesday.

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