Woodland Hills man will go to jail for odometer tampering

Photo via Pixabay

Photo via Pixabay

A man who was once a top salesman at a San Fernando Valley car dealership was sentenced Monday to a year in federal prison for conspiring to roll back vehicle odometers in a scheme in which people paid up to $400 to avoid penalties for exceeding mileage limits on leases or to increase auto trade-in values.

Jeffrey Levy, a former salesman at Galpin Ford in North Hills, was also ordered to serve three years of supervised release upon getting out of prison and to pay restitution of about $115,800 to the owners of 21 cars with altered odometers.

U.S. District Judge George H. King ordered that $35,000 of the amount be paid immediately.

The judge also prohibited the 62-year-old Woodland Hills resident from employment related to the purchase, sale, leasing, or financing of new or used motor vehicles during the period of supervised release and ordered him to undergo treatment for mental health issues and a gambling addiction.

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USDOJ Press Release: Conspiracy Odometer Fraud Conviction/ Sentencing

Department of Justice

Monday, March 16, 2015 Car Salesman Sentenced to Prison for Odometer Fraud Scheme

A car salesman was sentenced earlier today in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles to serve one year and one day in prison on charges related to an odometer tampering scheme, the Justice Department announced.

Jeffrey Levy, 63, of Woodland Hills, California, was also ordered to pay $115,818.80 in restitution to victims who purchased vehicles without knowing the odometers displayed incorrect mileages.  In November 2014, Levy pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to tamper with odometers.

“A car salesman should know better than anyone that odometer tampering is a fraud and a crime,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Benjamin C. Mizer of the Justice Department’s Civil Division.  “As this prosecution demonstrates, criminals with an electronic tool can easily alter electronic vehicle odometers, defrauding future car buyers.”

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Ex-North Hills Car Salesman Gets Prison In Odometer Fraud Scheme

CBS2 Investigative Reporter David Goldstein first confronted Shamai Salpeter (right) and uncovered the odometer fraud scheme in 2012. (CBS)

CBS2 Investigative Reporter David Goldstein first confronted Shamai Salpeter (right) and uncovered the odometer fraud scheme in 2012. (CBS)

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A former San Fernando Valley car salesman was sentenced Monday to a year in federal prison for rolling back odometers for people who exceeded mileage limits on their leases.

Jeffrey Levy, 62, was also ordered to serve three years of supervised release upon getting out of prison and to pay restitution of about $115,800 to the owners of 21 cars with altered odometers.

U.S. District Judge George H. King ordered that $35,000 of the amount be paid immediately.

Levy was also prohibited from employment related to the purchase, sale, leasing, or financing of new or used motor vehicles during the period of supervised release and ordered him to undergo treatment for mental health issues and a gambling addiction.

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Authorities arrest 28 suspects in connection with vehicle theft operation

A total of 28 suspects were arrested throughout Southern California on Feb. 26 during a multi-agency investigation into a large-scale vehicle theft operation, according to California Highway Patrol.

The investigation was spearheaded by the CHP Border Division’s Orange County Auto Theft Task Force (O.C.A.T.T.), along with the Ontario Police Department and more than 15 other state and local agencies from four counties.

Suspects who were wanted for vehicle theft, identity theft, credit card and insurance fraud were arrested in various cities.

The operation “Hogg Life” developed after an extensive investigation in which O.C.A.T.T. investigators identified 47 suspects, 125 stolen vehicles and several local businesses from information stemming from a traffic enforcement stop by the Ontario P.D.

The investigation involved the fraudulent removal of lien holders (legal owners) from the vehicles’ titles, commonly known as “Title Washing.” These vehicles were then utilized to commit various additional crimes throughout Southern California. The coordination of resources from numerous multi-jurisdictional task forces and agencies resulted in 103 vehicles being recovered or accounted for.

In addition, as a result of the operation, three weapons were seized and 18 additional vehicles were identified as either possibly stolen, vin-switched or fraudulently purchased.

Original Article: http://www.fontanaheraldnews.com/news/article_b6060e62-bf91-11e4-bdaf-33e7e10ecf2b.html

Former Car Dealer Gets Shock Incarceration for Altering Odometers

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – A Springfield car dealer was sentenced Wednesday for rolling back the mileage on cars he sold.

Ashley Bolton, who owned Excel Auto Group, must serve 30 days in shock-incarceration at the Greene County Jail, along with five years of supervised probation. This shock-incarceration comes as part of a suspended sentence of four years in the Missouri Department of Corrections.

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Thieves copying VIN from cars to re-use on stolen cars

MyFoxAL.com – FOX6 WBRC Birmingham, AL

ATLANTA (CBS46) – Metro Atlanta police are keeping an eye out for a rising trend among car thieves called cloning.

David Renaud, with the National Insurance Crime Bureau, said the problem started surfacing about five years ago.

“They’re stealing a car, and then they will clone the VIN. In other words… remanufacture the dash VIN, the labels on the car and everything,” Renaud said.

The VIN, or vehicle identification number, is basically a fingerprint for your car. Renaud said that thieves can copy your VIN, and if they had a stolen car that was a similar make and model to yours, they could then use your VIN to clone the stolen car.

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Used Motor Vehicle Dealers Indicted for Odometer Tampering and Money Laundering

USDOJ

Office of Public Affairs
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

A Queens, New York, man and his Israeli brother were charged in indictments unsealed today in federal courts in Philadelphia and Brooklyn, New York, with offenses related to a long-running odometer tampering and money laundering scheme, the Justice Department and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York announced.

Chaim Gali aka Mike Gali and John Triculy, 40, of Queens Village, New York, and Shmuel Gali aka Sam Gali, 42, of Israel, are charged in a 15-count indictment in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania (EDPA) with conspiracy, securities fraud and false odometer statements.  The Galis are also charged in a related two-count indictment in the Eastern District of New York (EDNY) with mail and wire fraud conspiracy, and money laundering conspiracy.  If convicted of the charges in the EDPA indictment, the defendants face a statutory maximum of five years in prison on the conspiracy charge; a statutory maximum of 10 years in prison for each securities fraud charge and up to three years in prison for each false odometer statement charge.   If convicted of the charges in the EDNY indictment, they face a statutory maximum of 20 years in prison for each of the charges.

“Mileage is one of the most important factors in a consumer’s decision to purchase a used car,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Joyce R. Branda for the Justice Department’s Civil Division.  “Misrepresenting the mileage on a used car fraudulently induces a consumer to pay more money for less value, and it hides necessary information that will affect how a consumer maintains and repairs that vehicle.”

The indictments allege that the Galis devised a scheme to defraud buyers of used motor vehicles by misrepresenting the mileage of approximately 690 vehicles they sold beginning as early as 2006 and through at least 2011.  The indictments charge that the Galis used fictitious dealer names to purchase high-mileage, used motor vehicles from a national vehicle leasing company.  The defendants are charged with conspiring to alter the odometers in these vehicles, which they purchased in Florida, Maryland, Missouri and elsewhere, to reflect false lower mileages.  The indictments allege that the Galis then fraudulently altered the motor vehicle titles to reflect the false lower mileages and as a result, the commonwealth of Pennsylvania issued motor vehicle titles reflecting the altered mileages.

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Car dealer who fraudulently sold cars damaged in Hurricane Sandy gets 3 years in prison

Christopher Baxter | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

Jonathan Olin, 42, of Manalapan, was sentenced to three years in prison today for orchestrating the creation of false vehicle titles in order to sell cars damaged during Hurricane Sandy, state authorities said. (Courtesy of N.J. Attorney General’s Office)

TRENTON — A Middlesex County car dealer who used fraudulent vehicle titles to sell cars damaged during Hurricane Sandy was sentenced today to three years in state prison, state authorities said.

Jonathan Olin, 42, of Manalapan, for former operator of D&D Auto Sales in Old Bridge, admitted in August that he obtained fraudulent “clean” titles for eight vehicles, seven of which were sold to unsuspecting customers by Pinky N Brain Corp., doing business as D&D.

One of his associates, Jessie Dinome, 30, of Jackson, a former employee at the Freehold Motor Vehicle Agency, accessed state computers to create the false titles, the state Attorney General’s Office said. Dinome was sentenced to probation in October.

The seven vehicles were sold for a total of about $86,000, authorities said. Olin pleaded guilty to theft by deception and was ordered to pay full restitution to the victims. A third person, Jacob Douek, 40, of Staten Island, N.Y., still faces charges in the scheme.

The case was referred to the Attorney General’s Office by the state Motor Vehicle Commission after receiving information from the National Salvage Vehicle Reporting Program and ABC News, which investigated how flooded vehicles ended up on car lots.

Original Article: http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2014/12/car_dealer_who_fraudulently_sold_cars

Thirteen Area People Indicted On Fraud Charges Involving Motor Vehicle Titles

subBanner-News

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 17, 2014

St. Louis, MO – RANDALL HINTON was indicted in August on multiple fraud charges involving his scheme to alter and counterfeit documents in order to obtain state issued motor vehicle titles for himself and others.  Last week, twelve additional individuals were indicted in two separate indictments for their part in the use of the altered and counterfeited documents to obtain motor vehicle titles and motor vehicle title loans.

According to the indictments, the schemes involving the defendants resulted in financial losses to the State of Missouri, financial institutions, title loan companies and individuals.  As the documents were often altered to decrease the value of the vehicles or to change the state of residence of the vehicle owners to addresses in Illinois, the owners of the vehicles were able to evade paying the appropriate taxes and license fees to the Department of Revenue for the State of Missouri.  When Hinton removed the names of financial institutions which had financed the purchases of the vehicles from legitimate titles, Hinton, Arronda Williams and others were able to sell the vehicles to innocent purchasers who were then unable to register the vehicles due to existing liens.  The final aspect of the scheme enabled individuals to use the altered documents to obtain motor vehicle title loans from companies located throughout the United States.  As a result of existing liens or the fact that the value of the vehicles was less than the defendants represented, the title loan companies experienced large financial losses.

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