KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The Missouri State Highway Patrol have been investigating a series of consumer frauds related to the sale of vehicles by a KC couple.
The couple has been known to purchase a vehicle, typically from Craigslist. The couple will then alter the mileage on the vehicle and re-sell it on Craigslist, posing as the owners of the vehicle.
The investigation revealed approximately 48 vehicle purchases/sales within the past year; iis possible not all the transactions involve an odometer rollback. Investigators are still trying to determine the potential number of victims.
The suspects do not use their names during transactions, and typically use disposable pay-as-you-go cell phones.
The man is approximately 5’ 9”, medium build, and has an “East Coast” accent. If present, the woman typically stays in a green Nissan Quest minivan with their children while the transactions are conducted.
If you or someone you know has purchased a vehicle from these individuals, please contact Missouri State Highway Patrol Corporal Nate Bradley, at 816-622-0800.
LUTZ, Fla. - One Lutz man thought he was getting a deal on a used car, but he nearly got taken for a ride.
Deputies said a self-proclaimed car dealer was selling people vehicles with altered odometers.
According to the sign out front, Carmona Service Corporation will do body and mechanic work on your car. But on Wednesday, 64-year-old Pedro Carmona was arrested and charged with 11 counts, including tampering with the odometers on four vehicles.
Just last week, Mahesh Modha said he saw an ad on Craigslist for a Toyota Corolla LE with 31,000 miles for less than $10,000.
“We were ready to pay cash also, but it turned out we were scammed," Modha said.
Modha said Pedro Carbona and his nephew Gio met him to sell the car. Modha paid $1,000, got a receipt and promised to pay the rest.
"They were claiming to be a dealer actually, you know Gio said my uncle is a dealer, so I said I normally trust dealer because dealer had a license," Modha said.
ST. LOUIS • Eight St. Louis-area men and women have been sentenced for their involvement in a ring that altered vehicle documents to obtain loans, prosecutors said Thursday.
The ring altered documents to remove lienholders before selling the vehicles or to obtain new loans, prosecutors said. They also reduced the value of the vehicles on documents or changed the state of residence of owners to dodge taxes and license fees, they said.
Federal, state and local investigators were able to document $311,000 in losses due to the scheme, but estimate that the true loss amount approached $1 million.
The eight defendants received prison terms ranging from probation to more than 11 years in prison.
The final defendant in the case, Justin Carter, 22, of St. Louis, was sentenced Wednesday to five years in prison. The leader, Randall Hinton, 33, of St. Louis was sentenced Aug. 11 to 11 years, four months in prison, prosecutors said.
BREMERTON, Wash. -- Three brothers are accused of ripping off dozens of car buyers in Bremerton by rolling back odometers to sell the vehicles at a higher price.
Bremerton Police arrested two of the brothers on Wednesday then served warrants at two Navy Yard City properties located in the 3700 block of Madrona Street and the 3700 block of C Street, where the vehicles were stored. During the search, detectives impounded at least three vehicles that were not registered to the properties.
"Unfortunately, most of (the victims) didn't know they'd been taken advantage of until I contacted them," said Bremerton Police Det. Martin Garland.
The organized crime investigation started in January 2014 after a victim found a repair invoice in a vehicle that was purchased from the suspects. The victim noticed the mileage didn't look right, checked the car's history on CarFax, and determined the mileage was incorrect.
Bremerton Police said the brothers purchased the cars on Craigslist then resold them at higher costs after rolling back the odometers, which would make it appear the cars didn't have as many miles so the suspects could get more money.
Almost everyone has shopped for a used car and buying a used vehicle is always a big deal for most consumers. Savvy buyers spend days or weeks searching for the right vehicle at the right price to fit their needs.
When shopping for a used vehicle and during the buying process, a major consideration is the mileage on the pre-owned vehicle. Better Business Bureau Serving Acadiana offers advice to help consumers ensure they are not taken by odometer fraud.
BBB alerts consumers that one in 10 American vehicles has a tampered or “rolled back” odometer, according to the Consumer Federation of America. According to Car Fax, a BBB Accredited Business, odometer fraud is one of the oldest automotive scams and the introduction of digital odometers has done nothing to halt it.
BBB offers the following tips to help consumers detect odometer fraud when purchasing a used vehicle:
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.
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.