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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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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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

Feds Charge Pair with Sales of 247 Mileage Tampered Cars

300px-Jeep_OdometerAccording to Federal prosecutors, from as early as 2004 and through at least 2010, Kyle Novitsky, 45, and Judith Aloe, 52, both of North Miami Beach, FL, purchased high-mileage, used motor vehicles in Florida, California and elsewhere from a national vehicle leasing company.  Thereafter, Novitsky and Aloe allegedly altered the motor vehicle titles and sales documentation associated with these vehicles to reflect lower mileage, and, relying upon such fraudulent certifications, the Commonwealth ofPennsylvania issued motor vehicle titles reflecting the false mileage.

On January 17, 2013, a federal grand jury in Philadelphia unsealed an indictment charging Novitsky abd Aloe with making false odometer statements, securities fraud and conspiracy to commit these offenses. Novitsky and Aloe are charged with selling 247 motor vehicles — some with mileage fraudulently understated by over 100,000 miles — at wholesale automobile auctions in Manheim, PA, and elsewhere, and providing Pennsylvania titles that the defendants knew were issued based upon fraudulent lower mileage.

Note: Charges in an Indictment are only allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

The Department of Justice, Office of Consumer Protection Litigation offers an online resource about Odometer Tampering and also offers this helpful consumer checklist:

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Police: (PA)Nanticoke man altered odometer, title of car he tried to sell

KINGSTON — A Nanticoke man faces multiple charges after he allegedly altered the odometer and title of a car he sold to a Kingston man.

State police at Wyoming say Terry Matthew Panetta, 33, acquired a silver Ford Mustang and the title to the vehicle in September 2013, then disassembled the instrument cluster and altered the odometer by “blacking out” digits with a black marker.

Panetta then altered the vehicle title to indicate that the vehicle had less mileage than the actual mileage recorded, and then offered the car for sale on the Craigslist website, police said.

A 21-year-old man from Kingston responded to the ad, met with Panetta to see the vehicle at a location on Pringle Street in Kingston and arranged to buy the car from Panetta, according to police.

After the vehicle sale, the odometer discrepancy was discovered and the Kingston man, whom police did not identify, contacted state police.

Following an investigation, police on Tuesday charged Panetta with felony counts of forgery, tampering with public records or information, changing an odometer reading and washing a vehicle title, a misdemeanor count of theft by deception/false impression and a summary count of improper transfer of ownership.

Panetta was arraigned before District Judge James Roberts and released on $25,000 unsecured bail. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Oct. 21 before Roberts.

Original Article: http://www.timesleader.com/news/local-news-news/50452291/

(Calgary) Dozens of victims caught in odometer roll back scam

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A Calgary man is facing charges in connection to a vehicle odometer roll back scam that defrauded more than 50 people.

The Economic Crimes Unit was notified in January by a credit card company that a number of skimmed cards were being used for fraudulent purchases in Calgary.

Police say the cards were being used to service vehicles and purchase vehicle parts and that the vehicles being serviced, were purchased at an auction house.

Investigators say that the vehicles had high kilometres but they had been rolled back between purchase from the auction house and attempting to sell them online.

“Investigation by the constables revealed that the offender was purchasing vehicles from the auction house at which time he would take those vehicles and have small repairs doe to them, maybe tune ups etc., change some parts out and take them to auto repair facilities where we believe that the odometers were rolled back. He would then list those vehicles on kijiji, Craig’s List, and the Auto Trader for sale and individuals would then come into negotiation with him to purchase those vehicles,” said S/Sgt. Kristie Verheul from the Economic Crimes Unit.

They say that in one case, approximately 208,000 kilometres were rolled back.

The suspect in the case purchased 54 vehicles over three years.

Andriy Plysiun, 28, of Calgary, faces one count of fraud over $5,000.

Police estimate the value of fraud is $300,000 and say that number is likely to increase as more victims are identified.

Original Article : http://calgary.ctvnews.ca/dozens-of-victims-caught-in-odometer-roll-back-scam-1.2031958#ixzz3Krf3Hg5L

Storm Surge: Beware of Title-Washed Cars

Shopping for a used car in Mississippi? Beware of title washing. The Magnolia State has the highest density of title-washed cars in the country, with 1 in every 44.6 used cars bearing a washed title, a Cars.com analysis has found. That’s well above the national average of 1 in 324.9 used cars. New Jersey, meanwhile, has the second-highest rate: 1 in 87 cars.

Related: How to Know if You’re Buying a Flood-Damaged Car

Why? In a word, hurricanes. Nearly a decade ago, Hurricanes Katrina and Rita left 600,000 flood-damaged cars across the Gulf States. And in 2012, Hurricane Sandy reportedly left more than 200,000 storm-damaged cars in New Jersey and New York. Salvage titles, or titles for cars that were retitled after they were written off as total losses by insurance companies, proliferated after all three storms. Title washing also surged, where sellers alter vehicle titles to hide their salvage status and sell the cars as regular used vehicles. To do this, sellers often send those cars through states with looser title laws.

By contrast, used-car shoppers in Ohio, Florida and Pennsylvania have less to worry about. Just 1 in 2,127 used cars in Ohio has a washed title. Florida (1 in 1,444.9 cars) and Pennsylvania (1 in 1,200.3 cars) round out the podium for low-risk states.

CarFax, a provider of vehicle history reports, estimates that title washing could affect nearly 800,000 cars on U.S. roads. The company has state-by-state totals of title-washed vehicles — any cars (not just flooded ones) whose titles have been altered — which CarFax draws from all registrations issued since 1981. We indexed that data against the total number of registered cars per state, using IHS Automotive data from July 2014. Here’s what we found:

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