Couple accused of running a chop shop

David Bernando Cruz

David Bernando Cruz

Joselyn Cruz

Joselyn Cruz

TAVARES — A two-county investigation has shut down an Astatula chop shop whose operators are accused of dealing in stolen cars from three states, authorities said.

David Bernando Cruz, 30, and his wife, Joselyn Cruz, 31, were charged with operating a chop shop. David Cruz has been released from the Lake County Jail after posting a $50,000 bond. Joselyn Cruz was jailed in Osceola County on the same bail.

Lake County detectives began investigating the two after receiving information from the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office regarding the couple having a large amount of vehicles to sell and looking for a place to get rid of them.

The couple allegedly stole vehicles throughout Florida, as well as in Alabama and Georgia, with a tow truck they owned. They reportedly rolled back the mileage and covered up any damage to the vehicles.

It also was alleged that David Cruz would get vehicles from owners who couldn’t make their car payments under an agreement that he would assume the payments. He then allegedly hid those vehicles from repossession companies until he could obtain fraudulent titles on the vehicles and resell them.

Lake County sheriff’s detectives eventually learned of a warehouse at 14200 Corkwood Lane in Astatula,where the couple had allegedly been hiding vehicles.

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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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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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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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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

Odometer Fraud Case May Lead to Stiffer Penalties for Some Offenders

An NBC 5 Consumer Investigation on odometer fraud prompts one division of the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles to recommend consumer-friendly changes to state law governing salvage dealers.

These changes would protect consumers by giving the state tougher tools of enforcement against would-be violators.

This potential change stems from a case against a DFW-area salvage dealer which wound up in small claims court then in the hands of the DMV.

It started last year when Kristin and Ferron Young turned to Craig’s List when they needed a car on a tight budget.

"We needed something that we felt like would be good for the family,” Kristin Young, mother of a kindergartener and a newborn, said.

They found an ad for a 2000 Honda Accord, which described the car as very clean with 101,000 miles.  After seeing the car, they bought it for $3,200.

“We ended up choosing the one that we bought because it had lower mileage,” said Young.
The seller, salvage dealer Michael Eke, also had assurances. He said the car had been cared for and had only been in a little crash. But on the drive home they said they noticed problems immediately.

The next day, the Youngs bought a CARFAX report, which revealed at the car’s last state inspection it had 160,000 miles.

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(Grand Rapids) Target 8: Odometer rollback revealed

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Marc Libants was attached to his old Honda Civic. He even refers to the 1997 four-door as a ‘she.’ He said it wasn’t easy giving her up, but he had no need for the old car anymore, so he sold it.

Two days later, he spotted the Civic up for sale online. He knew it was his because it was missing the Honda insignia due to a previous incident. It also listed the phone number of the person to whom he had sold the car.

“I got a little suspicious and as I read the ad, it said that the car had 127,000 miles on it and that kind of made some alarm bells go off,” said Libants.

He said that wouldn’t be possible “unless he drove it in reverse for a long, long ways.”

Target 8 has warned consumers about people rolling back odometers so they can jack up the price of old cars.

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