Shady Atlanta Luxury Car Dealers and Russian Gangster Linked to Local Businesses
After Worstell banged on the inside of the trunk, he was moved to the front seat. From there, while the car idled at a gas station and his attackers held him at gunpoint, Worstell made a break for it, opening the passenger door and running for help. When authorities arrived and quizzed him, he explained that he'd been set up by a man with whom he'd talked earlier in the week about buying a 2009 Dodge. Police tracked down Stephens and charged him with false imprisonment, carjacking with a firearm, and felony battery. No other assailants were caught.
Despite the violent episode, the car dealers continued to do business in South Florida. Company records show that in 2012, a "Mani Chilpayen" was listed as a manager of Luxury Lineup LLC, a dealership located in an industrial park in Dania Beach. Livesay's name appears in the corporate filings for a company called Imperium Holdings LLC, the address of which leads to a UPS store in Fort Lauderdale. Three names -- Paul Carruth, Kimberly Reiss, and Saleh Nayab -- all appear in the paper trail for both companies.
A neighbor from a nearby mechanic shop witnessed Ferraris and Rolls-Royces going in and out of Luxury Lineup's lot. Chulpayev was "the nicest guy ever," the neighbor tells New Times. "[Livesay] was here, but he didn't like it so much here. But he used the cars."
The business might have continued to this day, except that last April, the Broward Sheriff Office's SWAT team swarmed the industrial park, acting on a warrant from Georgia.
According to Fulton County prosecutors, Chulpayev was involved in the June 2012 murder of Houston rapper Lil Phat outside the Atlanta hospital where the musician's son had just been born. Two days prior to being shot, the 19-year-old recording artist had reported to police that Chulpayev had leased him a stolen BMW. The Russian has said that he is innocent and that he was working with the FBI to help expose others involved in the murder plot.
After the raid, Luxury Lineup emptied out of the Dania Beach location. Neighbors say only the occasional skiptracer shows up at the address.
Livesay, who did not reply to a request for comment made through his attorney, appears to still be operating in South Florida. Last February, his name was listed in the filing documents for another company, Oceans92, whose listed address also leads to a UPS store in Hallandale Beach. He pleaded guilty in October and received probation on five charges in Georgia, including theft by taking, identity fraud, and forgery, although it's unclear what incident triggered those charges. In November, he was subpoenaed at a Boca Raton address to testify in the trial of Donovan Stephens.
In court, Livesay denied he had ever met Stephens, said he had no record of any car transaction, and had never repossessed any car.
When Worstell took the stand, he completely changed the story he'd originally told police, now denying he'd ever met Stephens before the attack. Worstell now tells New Times, "[Livesay] might have done some business with [Stephens]. I just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time."
Stephens' attorney, John Klein, says that's B.S. "[Stephens] was absolutely scammed," Klein says. "This was done by persons that were engaged in criminal activity. Really all of them had a reason to lie and cover their own tracks." It doesn't justify Stephens' beating of Worstell, Klein admits, but the beating wasn't random. The jury believed Stephens, and instead of life in prison, Klein says, "he got three years."
Worstell is now a mechanic at a Ferrari dealership in Atlanta. He has never been charged with any crime related to GAC's business, but the Atlanta office of the Secret Service tells New Times the mechanic, Livesay, and Chulpayev are all currently "part of an open investigation."
Send your story tips to the author, Kyle Swenson.