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.
If Bolton does not finish the shock-incarceration program, he will be moved to the Missouri Department of Corrections to serve the four-year prison sentence.
Bolton is also banned form working as or for a licensed automobile dealer and must provide restitution to consumers. The amount of restitution will be decided during a hearing on March 10.
In 2013, Attorney General Chris Koster charged Bolton with two felony counts of unlawful merchandising practices. He pleaded guilty in September 2014.
An investigation by Koster’s office and other organizations revealed Bolton misrepresented the actual mileage of vehicles being offered for sale by Excel Auto Group in 2011 and 2012.
According to Koster, in one case, Bolton bought a car with more than 180,000 miles then sold it representing it had only 99,000 miles. In another, Bolton bought a car with nearly 220,000 miles then sold it less than a month later with an odometer reading of 119,000 miles.
Consumers who suspect odometer fraud should call the Missouri Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Hotline at 800-392-8222 or file a complaint on the website.