You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.


Welcome to

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

Judge seals Zinn records for 30 days

Clark County prosecutor declines comment on ongoing investigation.

A Clark County Common Pleas judge earlier this month sealed court records related to the search of properties owned by Monte W. Zinn until March, ruling that releasing them would be “detrimental” to a criminal investigation.

Judge Thomas J. Capper sealed a search warrant issued on Zinn’s home, business and a youth ministry organization for 30 days, or until an arrest is made or until another court order, according to documents obtained by the Springfield News-Sun on Monday.

“ … Disclosure of the facts contained in the affidavit in support of the search warrant application would be detrimental to the criminal investigation which is being conducted,” Capper said in court documents.

Zinn once was Springfield’s largest auto dealer and has served on many community groups.

Prosecutor Andy Wilson said Capper signed a search warrant request for Zinn’s properties Feb 7.

On Feb. 8, the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation conducted the search at Zinn’s home at 2570 Myers Road and his business, Monte Zinn Automotive Consulting, 1184 E. Home Road, Suite R.

Young Life Springfield, a non-denominational Christian ministry that reaches out to adolescents, is also located at the Home Road location and was included on the search warrant.

Clark County sheriff’s deputies assisted in the search, Wilson said.

Wilson declined to comment further, saying, “It’s an ongoing investigation.”

The Springfield News-Sun contacted Zinn’s attorney, Jim Peifer, who declined comment.

The News-Sun also attempted to contact Zinn, but those at his home and business say he is out of town for a couple weeks. A man at Zinn’s house said Zinn was in Fiji and was not expected to return until March 15.

Zinn was born in Troy and grew up in North Hampton. He attended Northwestern Local Schools and began selling Fords at a Ford Dealership in New Carlisle in June 1961, according to a his biography on the Ohio Alliance of YMCAs.

From June 1963 to June 1974, he worked at Hopkins Chevrolet Oldsmobile in New Carlisle, where he worked his way up from a salesman to general manager of the dealership.

He purchased 25 percent of an existing Chevrolet dealership in Springfield and later became the sole owner and operator of Monte Zinn Chevrolet Company in Springfield.

In 1980, he purchased another Chevrolet dealership and combined it with his existing dealership. In 1991, he bought a local Toyota dealership on the west side of Springfield.

Zinn was the largest auto dealer in Clark County until he transferred all five auto franchises under the Monte Zinn name to the Cincinnati-based Jeff Wyler Auto Group in 2000.

The sale of the dealerships came after an immigration fraud case involving his contact with citizens from the Fiji Islands.

That investigation began in 1991 with a complaint from a Fijian exchange student who said that Zinn made unwanted sexual advances toward him. Zinn denied the allegations.

He pleaded guilty to a federal conspiracy charge of falsifying documents and using false information to help Fijian citizens illegally enter the United States and work at his dealership.

U.S. District Court Judge Walter H. Rice said then that the conspiracy, which occurred between July 9, 1990, and Dec. 27, 1990, involved Zinn falsely claiming that the students possessed the necessary qualifications to obtain training at his dealership.

He was sentenced to two years probation in 1996. He was also ordered to pay a $1,500 fine, perform 100 hours of community service and not travel to Fiji or sponsor any students from Fiji.

Next Up in Community News

Home Depot under fire over lead paint removal
Home Depot under fire over lead paint removal

Home Depot faces investigations and fines for a series of cases in which its contractors mishandled lead paint removal in at least three states. Three federal agencies have said they are looking into the actions of contractors working for the Atlanta-based home improvement giant in Connecticut, Maine and Colorado, an issue first reported by WSB-TV...
Ivanka Trump reportedly differs with President Trump on Syrian refugees
Ivanka Trump reportedly differs with President Trump on Syrian refugees

Ivanka Trump is reportedly disagreeing with her father on the plight of Syrian refugees, saying in an interview Tuesday that the United States might need to open its borders to refugees. Her statement is an unusual public shift away from her father’s positions. According to The New York Times, her comments caused a “scramble&rdquo...
Reports: Soldier with local ties killed in Afghanistan
Reports: Soldier with local ties killed in Afghanistan

One of two soldiers killed in Afghanistan this week is believed to be a 2012 Kettering Fairmont High School graduate. Several social media posts expressed condolences and sadness about the death of Cameron Thomas, a U.S. Army Ranger.  A Facebook message read: “Rest in Peace Cameron Thomas. You are a hero and will truly be missed.&rdquo...
James Patterson says he’s writing book on Aaron Hernandez
James Patterson says he’s writing book on Aaron Hernandez

Best-selling author James Patterson is writing a book about Aaron Hernandez, the former NFL and University of Florida standout who authorities say this month took his own life while serving time in prison for murder. Patterson made the announcement Wednesday while visiting Congress Middle School in Boynton Beach. He did not say what the title...
Cat found with arrow stuck in head in Florida
Cat found with arrow stuck in head in Florida

Police are investigating how a South Florida cat ended up with an arrow stuck in its skull.  The feline was found Wednesday morning in Miami Beach and was euthanized because of the severity of its injuries, WSVN reported.  A veterinarian said the arrow went in behind one of the cat’s eyes and exited through its mouth, WSVN reported...
More Stories