South Archives

Lebanon Car Dealer Indicted For Fraudulent Titles, Falsified Mileage On Dozens Of Vehicles

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE September 5, 2014 SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that a Lebanon, Mo., automobile dealer has been indicted by a federal grand jury for a mail fraud scheme in which he sold dozens of vehicles with fraudulent titles that greatly underreported the actual mileage of the vehicles. Kenneth W. Smith, 60, of Lebanon, was charged in a seven-count indictment returned under seal by a federal grand jury in Springfield, Mo., on Aug. 26, 2014. That indictment has been unsealed and made public upon Smith’s arrest and initial court appearance. Smith operates Cars Unlimited in Lebanon. According to today’s indictment, Smith obtained fraudulent replacement titles for dozens of vehicles that were sold by Cars Unlimited between February 2010 and Nov. 7, 2011. Smith (operating through Cars Unlimited) allegedly applied for and received 54 replacement titles from the state of Missouri, each of which underreported the vehicle’s actual mileage between 95,000 and 209,000 miles. Smith allegedly resold these 54 vehicles at auto auctions using the fraudulent replacement titles. These 54 vehicles were sold for an aggregate total of approximately $346,450. Beginning in February 2010, when Smith purchased vehicles (through…

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Patrick Wayne Davis booked in Knox County on odometer fraud and identity theft charges

CHATTANOOGA, TN — Following an investigation by the Tennessee Highway Patrol’s Criminal Investigation Division (CID) Patrick Wayne Davis was arrested for odometer fraud, identity theft, and felony theft on Tuesday, March 11 in Knoxville. Davis allegedly altered the odometer of a 2004 Honda Accord over 120,000 miles. He then fraudulently advertised the vehicle on “Craigslist “as a low mileage vehicle and subsequently sold it at a much higher price. This case stemmed from a complaint taken by the Bradley County Sheriff’s Office in Cleveland, Tenn. Bradley County then requested the assistance of the Tennessee Highway Patrol. THP Sergeant Thomas Clower, working with the Bradley County Sheriff’s Office, was able to identify Davis as a suspect in their initial investigation. They discovered that Davis illegally acted as the original owner of the Honda by taking the name of a man from Michigan. Agents with the Highway Patrol’s CID also located physical evidence in the Honda Accord. On Thursday, March 13, Sergeant Clower and THP Interdiction Plus Sergeant Greg Roberts located Mr. Davis in Knoxville. Davis was arrested on odometer fraud, theft between $1,000 to $10,000 and identity theft. He was booked in the Knox County Jail. A court date will be…

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Woman says Milton Motor wasn’t honest about vehicle’s condition

CHARLESTON – Milton Motor Used Auto Sales LLC is being sued after a woman claims it was not honest with her about the condition of a vehicle she purchased. On May 2, 2012, Patricia Davis entered into a motor vehicle purchase contract with the defendant for the purchase of a 2001 Ford Explorer, according to a complaint filed June 21 in Kanawha Circuit Court. Davis claims she specifically asked the defendant about the quality, durability and value of the vehicle and was assured the vehicle was a good, dependable car. The defendant represented the vehicle had no history or prior problems or damage when in fact, the vehicle had been previously extensively damaged, including apparent damage resulting from submersion in flood waters or other waters and the dealer had actual knowledge of the damage or should have discovered the damage upon reasonable inspection, according to the suit.

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Fort Bragg Soldier Arrested and Faces Identity Theft Charges in Court on Monday

How does a soldier in the U.S. Army for over 20 years get away with stealing someone’s identity? Though his security clearances are now revoked and he is in jail – how did he get this far along in the Army? Known to peers at Fort Bragg by Gerald Morrone, his actual identity is William Anthony Morrone, Jr. and his past has finally caught up with him. The soldier is now in jail and is facing charges in other states. Marrone was arrested on May 2, 2013. The soldier was recently flown back from Montana for his trial and will be return for his sentencing after Monday’s court-martial. Morrone also faces charges in Indiana regarding obtaining a license under his brother’s name and other fraudulent charges according to a local source who knows the family. Acting on a complaint from U.S. Army Military Police Investigations, the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles’ License and Theft Bureau on April 9 arrested a soldier formerly performing the duties of Garrison Operations Sergeant Major of the U.S. Army Garrison, Fort Bragg, and charged him with 21 felonies in connection with vehicle purchases using his brother’s identity according to a NC DOT news release.…

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Raleigh man pleads guilty to odometer fraud

Francis Tendayi Marimo, 39, was arrested in February 2012 and charged with change of mileage violations, obtaining property by false pretenses and acting as a dealer without a license. He will be sentenced some time in September. Federal agents started investigating Marimo after local car buyers realized the mileage on their vehicles wasn’t right. He pleaded guilty to two instances, one in which he rolled back the odometer by 100,000 miles. Investigators have said they believe he was involved in many more cases between 2008 and 2012. The U.S. Department of Transportation recommends these tips for buyers of used cars: ·         Ask to see the title and compare the mileage on it with the vehicle’s odometer. Examine the title closely if the mileage notation seems obscured or is not easy to read. ·         Compare the mileage on the odometer with the mileage on the vehicle’s maintenance or inspection records. Search for oil change and maintenance stickers on windows or door frames, in the glove box or under the hood. ·         Examine the tires. If the odometer on the car shows 20,000 or less, it should have the original tires. ·         Look at the wear and tear on the vehicle – especially the gas, brake and…

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Car buyer cries fraud after discovering odometer has been rolled back

A few months later, she wanted to upgrade and another dealership offered to buy the car from her. But when that company ran a check on the car’s history, there was a problem. Fernandez’s odometer had been rolled back. When she purchased the car in April 2012 from Affordable Motors, the odometer showed 56,447 miles. That turned out to be untrue. The actual mileage was 187,677, miles at the time Fernandez purchased it. Affordable Motors said it has nothing to do with the mileage discrepancy. “There was a problem before us,” said Affordable Motors owner Felisberto “Felix” Sanchez. “The problem was not us. She’s probably right, but the problem was with a previous out of town dealer.” Sanchez said he runs checks on all his vehicles and nothing seemed out of the ordinary with the Chrysler he sold to Fernandez. Odometer fraud is a national problem, but consumers can take steps to protect themselves. In Fernandez’s case, she did not see her vehicle’s Carfax. The Carfax would have provided a history report for her Chrysler including any possible odometer discrepancies. “If I could do it again, I would absolutely make sure I see the Carfax first.” Federal law requires the…

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Springfield cops say they’ve busted national crime ring involving stolen trailers

SPRINGFIELD, Mo — A national crime ring – busted. Investigators say a trailer theft operation here in the Ozarks reached far across the USA. Detectives say South Valley Trailer, LLC, located at 1219 E. Division Street, would steal trailers, change the vin numbers, and then sell them out of state – as far away as North Dakota. The bust dates back to December 2012, when several trailers were reported stolen in Springfield; security cameras captured some of them. Someone spotted a missing trailer at South Valley a few days later, prompting a police investigation. Sales records showed transports to a company in North Dakota, who posted pictures of trailers of sale. The pictures matched the descriptions of the stolen property. Officers say details helped crack the case. “People need to make sure they know serial numbers and the info of the trailers and keep them secure,” Lt. Kevin Grizzell tells KSPR News. “Keep them locked up and chain them. The harder you make it to steal, the less likely it is to be stolen.” Detectives went back to the company’s offices last month and took several hard drives and computers. Officers think files saved on those drives will reveal the…

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Malone Charged With Odometer Fraud

The Tennessee Highway Patrol’s Criminal Investigation Division (CID) arrested a Chattanooga man for Odometer Fraud on Wednesday. THP-CID investigators received a tip that the suspect attempted to sell a 1999 Honda Accord on, where the vehicle mileage had been altered. The advertisement stated there were 54,000 miles on the vehicle. However, upon the initial investigation, it was discovered that the vehicle had accrued over 200,000 miles. Investigators posed as potential buyers and met with the suspect, 28-year old Robert Brandon Malone. After a series of inquiries, they determined Malone was the suspect who allegedly tampered with the vehicle’s odometer. He was arrested and charged with odometer fraud and driving on a suspended license. Malone was transported to the Hamilton County Jail. “Our job is to aggressively pursue any attempts of theft or fraud across the state. The Internet is a common source for thieves to pursue innocent victims. We just want to remind citizens to be wary of purchases, especially of automobiles, from the Internet,” THP Sgt. Matthew Minter said. Original Article:

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Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Used Car Dealer Sentenced to Prison for Odometer Tampering Fraud Scheme

Beau Michael Guidry of Baton Rouge, La., was sentenced today in connection with an odometer tampering scheme that defrauded victims in and around Louisiana, the Justice Department announced.   U.S. District Judge for the Middle District of Louisiana James J. Brady sentenced Guidry to a term of 20 months in prison and a term of one year of supervised release during which he cannot be involved in the sale of motor vehicles. In addition, the court ordered Guidry to pay $72,805.51 in restitution to the victims of his crimes. Guidry purchased high-mileage motor vehicles via eBay and wholesale automobile auctions in Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.   The vehicles’ odometers were then rolled back as much as 147,000 miles and resold via Guidry’s used vehicle company, Affordable Imports in Denham Springs, La., or through eBay to unsuspecting purchasers.   Guidry exclusively rolled back vehicles that were more than 10 years old when he sold them Because of the age of the cars, Guidry was not required to sign a disclosure certifying the mileage on those 10-year old vehicles as accurate.   However, each time he altered an odometer with intent to change the mileage on the odometer, he violated federal law.…

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Tough Questions about whether a man selling a car on-line is guilty of odometer fraud

COBB COUNTY, GA (CBS ATLANTA) – CBS Atlanta News questioned the current owner of a 1995 Nissan Maxima in Cobb County on Wednesday. He’s selling the car on Craigslist for $3,500 and with just 140,000 miles. He bought the car from Stewart Smith a month earlier. Smith said he sold the car with 241,000 miles. “It’s been 10 years since it had 141,000 miles on it,” Smith said. In fact, Smith’s Craigslist posting from July included a photograph of the odometer.  You can only imagine what he thought when he noticed his old car was for sale again with 100,000 fewer miles. “My initial thought was with the lower mileage I certainly hope is a typo and apparently as your investigation found out, it is not,” Smith said. So CBS Atlanta’s Adam Murphy tracked down the new owner and seller of the car to ask him about it.

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The National Odometer and Title Fraud Enforcement Association (NOTFEA) is a non-profit, professional organization formed originally in 1980 as the National Odometer Enforcement Association (NOEA).

The association is chartered as a non-profit corporation with the Commonwealth of Virginia and is registered as a 501(C)(3) organization with the Internal Revenue Service.

Membership in NOTFEA is restricted to individuals working for law enforcement and consumer protection agencies, licensing and motor vehicle departments, and private attorneys and investigators who are responsible for detecting, deterring, and prosecuting odometer, rebuilt/salvage, and other title fraud offenders under state, federal, and other applicable laws.