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Man charged with odometer tampering, receives conviction

A Louisiana man was recently sentenced to prison for nearly two years, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. That release indicated that the man had been selling used vehicles when a fraud charge was filed against him. Accusations against the used car dealer alleged that he was purchasing vehicles and rolling the odometers back to trick potential customers into believing that less miles were on the vehicle than there actually were.

His reported connection with the odometer tampering scheme resulted in a prison sentence of 20 months. In addition, the man will be on supervised release for one year and will have to pay restitution to the victims of his reported crimes-the courts believe that this amounts to nearly $73,000. During his supervised release, he will not be allowed to sell motor vehicles or be associated with any attempts to do so.

According to prosecutors, the man purchased vehicles from wholesale automobile auctions in Louisiana and other states. He also made purchases on eBay. Authorities alleged that he would purchase high-mileage vehicles to roll odometers back and increase the value of the vehicle. Reports indicate that at least one of the vehicles' odometers reflected a change of 147,000 miles.

According to the allegations, the man would then sell the vehicles through his used car company in Denham Springs, Louisiana, or on eBay to customers that were not expecting to receive a car with incorrect mileage. The only vehicles that had their odometers tampered with were those that were more than 10 years old at the time of sale. This is due to a requirement that is no longer necessary when a vehicle becomes 10 years old.

Despite no longer requiring a disclosure certifying the mileage of these older vehicles, odometer tampering is still a violation of federal law, which is why the man was tried in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana.

Source: Examiner, "Used car dealer sentenced for odometer tampering scheme," Joel Hendon, Nov. 30, 2012

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