Owensboro car dealership owner, salesman, accused of rolling back odometers on vehicles
OWENSBORO, Ky. (WEVV) — Two men are facing charges in Owensboro after police say they were illegally modifying the mileage on vehicles at their car dealership.
Police say “Discount Motors” owner Eddie Howard and salesman Donald Adams are facing criminal charges for rolling back the odometers in vehicles before reselling them.
Officers say they started the investigation after a complaint was made, gathering evidence and witness statements to support the claims.
Through their investigation, authorities say they determined that Howard and Adams acted together to commit the fraud by using electronic devices.
OPD says a search warrant was executed at the dealership on Thursday, which resulted in the seizure of evidence related to the crimes, including $350,000 in cash, 3 firearms, in excess of 100 Oxycodone pills, 2 vehicles, and electronic devices utilized to perpetrate fraud.
Howards and Adams were both arrested and charged with multiple crimes including drug trafficking, plus 20 counts each of tampering with motor vehicle odometers.
Criminals Rolling Back Odometers on Used cars
Wichita Man Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy to Commit Odometer Tampering
OKLAHOMA CITY – MICHAEL MARKS, 31, of Wichita, Kansas, pleaded guilty today to conspiracy to commit odometer tampering, announced U.S. Attorney Robert J. Troester.
Public records reflect that on February 10, 2023, Marks was charged by Information with one count of conspiring to alter the odometers of motor vehicles. The Information alleges that between August 2017 and July 2022, Marks and his coconspirators purchased 15 used vehicles, altered their odometers to register lower mileages, and then resold the vehicles to unsuspecting buyers. Federal law prohibits conspiring to knowingly and willfully disconnect, reset, and alter an odometer of a motor vehicle intending to change the registered odometer mileage.
Today, Marks pleaded guilty to the Information. Marks will be sentenced in approximately 90 days. At sentencing, Marks faces up to three years of imprisonment and a fine of $250,000. Under the terms of his plea agreement with the government, Marks has also agreed to pay restitution to the victims who purchased the 15 vehicles.
This case is the result of an investigation by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Office of Odometer Fraud Investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney D.H. Dilbeck.
Reference is made to the Information and other public court filings for further information.
Three Chicago Men Charged with Odometer and Title Fraud
Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, November 3, 2022
A federal grand jury in Chicago, Illinois, returned an indictment, which was unsealed yesterday, charging three Illinois men with operating an odometer and title fraud scheme that involved hundreds of used cars over the course of many years.
According to court documents, Laith Ghzo, 36, of Oak Lawn, Hussein Ghzo, 40, of Palos Heights, and Musab Sawai, 35, of Worth caused the mileage of hundreds of used vehicles to be rolled back and altered title documents to reflect the false, low mileage. Those used vehicles were then sold to unsuspecting wholesale buyers and ultimately consumers, who paid more for those vehicles than they would have paid if they had known the truth about the vehicles’ mileages.
Laith Ghzo and Hussein Ghzo are charged with conspiracy to make counterfeit securities and commit mail fraud, making counterfeit securities and mail fraud. Musab Sawai is charged with conspiracy to make counterfeit securities and mail fraud. The defendants made their initial court appearances yesterday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeffrey Cole of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. If convicted, Laith Ghzo and Hussein Ghzo face a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison for each mail fraud count, and Musab Sawai faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison for conspiracy. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Brian M. Boynton, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Division, U.S. Attorney John R. Lausch Jr. for the Northern District of Illinois, Acting Inspector in Charge Kai Pickens of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service Chicago Division and Acting Administrator Ann Carlson of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) made the announcement.
The NHTSA Office of Odometer Fraud Investigations and the Postal Inspection Service are investigating the case.
Trial Attorneys Joshua D. Rothman and Thomas Rosso of the Justice Department’s Consumer Protection Branch and Assistant U.S. Attorney Kartik K. Raman for the Northern District of Illinois are prosecuting the case.
NHTSA estimates that odometer fraud in the United States results in consumer losses of more than $1 billion annually and has established a special hotline to handle odometer fraud complaints. Individuals with information relating to odometer tampering should call (800) 424-9393 or (202) 366-4761.
More information on odometer fraud is available on the NHTSA website https://one.nhtsa.gov/Vehicle-Safety/Odometer-Fraud and tips on detecting and avoiding odometer fraud are available at this page: www.nhtsa.gov/staticfiles/nvs/pdf/811284.pdf.
For more information about the Consumer Protection Branch and its enforcement efforts, visit its website at www.justice.gov/civil/consumer-protection-branch.
An indictment is merely an allegation and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
Brown Sentencing Press Release
Harrisburg man altered odometer readings on more than 150 cars sold on Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist
Police: Harrisburg man altered odometer readings on more than 150 cars sold on Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist
Naomi Creason Aug 11, 2022 Updated Aug 11, 2022 0
A Harrisburg man faces charges after State Police said he altered odometer readings on unlicensed vehicle sales on Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist, which could have affected more than 50 victims from the surrounding area.
Earnest Fry, 47, was arraigned Thursday on nine felony counts each of dealing in proceeds of unlawful activity, theft by deception-false impression, deceptive business practices, washing vehicle titles, changing odometer readings and tampering with public information, as well as nine misdemeanor counts of making false applications for title registration and one count each of receiving stolen property and performing an action under false pretense.
Police said that Fry, over the course of five years, bought and sold more than 150 vehicles in the Harrisburg area. More than 50 of the vehicles Fry sold had their odometers tampered with prior to the sale.
Sentinel police log for Aug. 12
Police estimate more than 4 million miles were rolled back, costing victims about $150,000 in the fraud scheme. A majority of the victims are from the Harrisburg area, including its surrounding counties, and some are from out of state, police said.
Police said Fry was aided by Keith Fry and Calvin Everett, with each allegedly having varying knowledge of the operation. Keith Fry is charged with one felony count each of dealing in proceeds of unlawful activity, theft by deception, tampering with public information and changing odometer reading, as well as a slew of misdemeanor receiving stolen property counts.
Police said Everett is charged with one summary count of acting as a car dealer without a license, though court documents are not yet available on his case.
Earnest Fry and Keith Fry were both arraigned Thursday, with both remaining in Dauphin County Prison unable to post $10,000 cash bail each. A preliminary hearing for both men in the case is scheduled for Aug. 23.
Two New Jersey Men Plead Guilty in Pennsylvania in Scheme Involving Odometer Tampering and Title Fraud
Two New Jersey men have pleaded guilty in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania for their roles in falsifying vehicle titles as part of a long-running odometer roll-back scheme.
According to court documents, Felix Granowski, 58, of Matawan, pleaded guilty Wednesday to one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud. Granowski owned a used car dealership based in New Jersey. Today, Alec Morgunov, 34, of Manalapan, also pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud in connection with his work at Granowski’s dealership.
As part of their plea agreements, Granowski and Morgunov admitted that between 2012 and 2016, they engaged in a scheme to sell high-mileage, used vehicles with false, low-mileage readings entered on the vehicles’ odometers and titles. According to court filings, the defendants purchased high-mileage vehicles from individuals, arranged to alter the vehicles’ odometers to reflect false, lower mileage readings, and then obtained motor vehicle titles reflecting those false, lower mileages. Granowski and Morgunov then used the fraudulent title documentation and artificially lower odometer readings to sell the vehicles, including at an auction located in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. By deceiving purchasers into believing the vehicles had fewer miles than they actually had, defendants sold the vehicles at inflated prices, resulting in consumers paying more for the vehicles than they would have paid had they known the true mileages.
“When individuals misrepresent the mileage on used cars, they deceive consumers into paying more money for those cars while also hiding vital information that can impact vehicle safety and repair costs,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Brian M. Boynton, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Division. “We are committed to protecting consumers by prosecuting individuals who engage in this type of fraud.”
“We’re proud of our collaboration with the Department of Justice to investigate odometer fraud,” said Deputy Administrator Dr. Steven Cliff of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). “Our top priority is keeping people safe on the road. Anyone who thinks they’ve been a victim of odometer fraud, needs to contact their state enforcement office. They can also visit our website, NHTSA.gov, for helpful information on how to detect a vehicle that may have had its odometer rolled back.”
In pleading guilty, Granowski and Morgunov admitted that they were part of a scheme that caused at least 118 cars to be sold with rolled-back odometers and falsified titles, resulting in consumer losses of at least $674,606.
The defendants are scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 31 and Sept. 1, respectively. Granowski and Morgunov each face a maximum sentence of five years in prison on the conspiracy to commit securities fraud charges. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
The NHTSA Office of Odometer Fraud Investigation investigated the case.
Trial Attorneys Natalie N. Sanders and Ryan E. Norman of the Justice Department’s Consumer Protection Branch and Assistant U.S. Attorney Nancy Rue of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania are prosecutors for the case.
NHTSA estimates that odometer fraud in the United States results in consumer losses of more than $1 billion annually. Individuals with information relating to odometer tampering should call NHTSA’s odometer fraud hotline at (800) 424-9393 or (202) 366-4761. More information on odometer fraud is available on the NHTSA website at https://www.nhtsa.gov/equipment/odometer-fraud and tips on detecting and avoiding odometer fraud are available at http://www.nhtsa.gov/staticfiles/nvs/pdf/811284.pdf.
For more information about the Consumer Protection Branch and its enforcement efforts, visit its website at http://www.justice.gov/civil/consumer-protection-branch. For more information about the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, visit https://www.justice.gov/usao-edpa.
Three Men Sentenced for Selling Vehicles with Rolled Back Odometers
Three men were sentenced today for selling vehicles on the internet after re-placing the vehicles’ odometers in order to sell the vehicles at a higher price. In an attempt to avoid detection, the vehicles would be registered in several different names and then ultimately sold to the unsuspecting public. The public would not have purchased the vehicles had they known the true mileage on the vehicles.
Jerret Schreiber, age 50, from Parkersburg, Iowa, received 6 months prison term and 6 months home confinement after he pled guilty to wire fraud. Evidence in the case proved Schreiber was involved in the sale of at least 17 vehicles. He was ordered to repay $90,832.55 in restitution to the victims of his offense. At sentencing, Schreiber made a payment of $45,000 towards his restitution obligation.
David Stangeland, age 33, from Cedar Falls, Iowa, received a one month prison term after he pled guilty to conspiracy to commit odometer fraud. Evidence in the case proved Stangeland was involved in the sale of at least 21 vehicles. He was ordered to repay $85,050 in restitution to the victims of his offense. At sentencing, Stangeland made a payment of $22,400 towards his restitution obligation.
Dustin Arends, age 36, from New Hartford, Iowa, received three years’ probation after he pled guilty to odometer tampering. Evidence in the case proved Arends was involved in the sale of at least 6 vehicles. He was ordered to repay $23,200 in restitution to the victims of his offense. At sentencing, Arends made a payment of $14,000 towards his restitution obligation.
The three men were sentenced in Cedar Rapids by United States District Court Judge C.J. Williams. Schreiber was released on the bond previously set and is to surrender to the Bureau of Prisons on a date yet to be set. Stangeland was released on the bond previously set and is to surrender to the United States Marshal on June 23, 2022, at 10:00 am. There is no parole in the federal system.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Matthew J. Cole and investigated by the United States Department of Transportation National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the United States Postal Inspection, and the Iowa Department of Transportation.
Court file information at https://ecf.iand.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/login.pl.
The case file number is 21-CR-2010.
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San Jose trio sentenced in odometer rollback scheme
SAN FRANCISCO – Three San Jose men have been sentenced to prison terms for their roles in a conspiracy to buy high-mileage vehicles, roll back their odometers to make them appear newer and sell them at “significant profits,” according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
U.S. District Court Judge Susan Illston on Friday sentenced 32-year-old Seymur Khalilov to two years in prison and 32-year-old Orkhan Aliyev and 31-year-old Ramil Heydarov to 20 months in prison each, the agency said in a news release Friday.
In October, the defendants pleaded guilty to one count each of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
According to their plea agreements, the defendants admitted to fraudulently selling at least 78 vehicles with altered odometers for a total of $550,000, prosecutors said.
The scheme spanned from at least October 2017 to December 2020, prosecutors said. In one case, Khalilov rolled back the odometer of a vehicle from 35,000 miles to 35 miles, according to a sentencing memorandum filed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
The defendants also admitted they advertised the vehicles for sale on Craigslist and used doctored driver’s licenses to facilitate the sales, prosecutors said. Aliyev, for example, had multiple licenses with the same photograph but different people’s names.
In addition to prison terms, Illston ordered Heydarov and Aliyev to forfeit $379,325 and $196,578, respectively. A date to determine Khalilov’s restitution has not been scheduled.
Victims of the scheme will have one year from the date of judgment to seek restitution.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or NHTSA, estimates that odometer fraud in the United States results in consumer loses of more than $1 billion annually. Steps consumers can take to protect themselves include purchasing a vehicle report and comparing the mileage numbers, ensuring the seller’s information matches the information on the title, and not using cash to purchase a vehicle.
Anyone with information related to odometer tampering can contact the NHTSA’s fraud hotline at 800-424-9393 or 202-366-4761.