Jackson, Miss. – Mark Longgrear, 54, of Jackson, was sentenced today to 57 months in prison, and his son, Zachary Longgrear, 29, of Madison, was sentenced to 28 months in prison by United States District Judge Carlton W. Reeves for conspiring to reset and alter the odometers of motor vehicles, to giving or causing to be given false statements relating to odometers, and securities fraud, announced U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst and Special Agent-in-Charge Midwest Region, Kevin L. Porter with the U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The Longgrears were also ordered to pay restitution, jointly and severally, in the amount of $1.5 million.
From 2014 through at least February 2018, Mark Longgrear, along with his son, Zachary Longgrear, both individually and under their company Southern Auto Buyers LLC, bought a large number of late model, high mileage vehicles from numerous sources, and thereafter illegally altered the odometers of these vehicles to show lower mileage. The Defendants forged and fraudulently created paperwork to secure new titles showing false lower mileage on these vehicles, and then sold the vehicles directly to individuals and automobile dealerships at much higher prices. Some of these rolled-back vehicles were subsequently sold by the dealerships to consumers in the Mississippi area and elsewhere. Over 200 vehicles have been confirmed with rolled-back odometers.
The case is the result of an investigation by the United States Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Office of Odometer Fraud Investigation, with assistance from the United States Postal Inspection Service, and the U.S. Marshals Service. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Keesha Middleton.
Odometer fraud is the disconnection, resetting, or alteration of a vehicle’s odometer with the intent to change the number of miles indicated. NHTSA estimates that more than 450,000 vehicles are sold each year with false odometer readings. It costs American consumers more than $1 billion annually.
NHTSA has established a special hotline to handle odometer fraud complaints. Individuals who have information relating to odometer tampering should call (202) 366-4761.