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.