Woodland Hills man will go to jail for odometer tampering

Photo via Pixabay

Photo via Pixabay

A man who was once a top salesman at a San Fernando Valley car dealership was sentenced Monday to a year in federal prison for conspiring to roll back vehicle odometers in a scheme in which people paid up to $400 to avoid penalties for exceeding mileage limits on leases or to increase auto trade-in values.

Jeffrey Levy, a former salesman at Galpin Ford in North Hills, was also ordered to serve three years of supervised release upon getting out of prison and to pay restitution of about $115,800 to the owners of 21 cars with altered odometers.

U.S. District Judge George H. King ordered that $35,000 of the amount be paid immediately.

The judge also prohibited the 62-year-old Woodland Hills resident from employment related to the purchase, sale, leasing, or financing of new or used motor vehicles during the period of supervised release and ordered him to undergo treatment for mental health issues and a gambling addiction.

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USDOJ Press Release: Conspiracy Odometer Fraud Conviction/ Sentencing

Department of Justice

Monday, March 16, 2015 Car Salesman Sentenced to Prison for Odometer Fraud Scheme

A car salesman was sentenced earlier today in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles to serve one year and one day in prison on charges related to an odometer tampering scheme, the Justice Department announced.

Jeffrey Levy, 63, of Woodland Hills, California, was also ordered to pay $115,818.80 in restitution to victims who purchased vehicles without knowing the odometers displayed incorrect mileages.  In November 2014, Levy pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to tamper with odometers.

“A car salesman should know better than anyone that odometer tampering is a fraud and a crime,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Benjamin C. Mizer of the Justice Department’s Civil Division.  “As this prosecution demonstrates, criminals with an electronic tool can easily alter electronic vehicle odometers, defrauding future car buyers.”

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Authorities arrest 28 suspects in connection with vehicle theft operation

A total of 28 suspects were arrested throughout Southern California on Feb. 26 during a multi-agency investigation into a large-scale vehicle theft operation, according to California Highway Patrol.

The investigation was spearheaded by the CHP Border Division's Orange County Auto Theft Task Force (O.C.A.T.T.), along with the Ontario Police Department and more than 15 other state and local agencies from four counties.

Suspects who were wanted for vehicle theft, identity theft, credit card and insurance fraud were arrested in various cities.

The operation “Hogg Life” developed after an extensive investigation in which O.C.A.T.T. investigators identified 47 suspects, 125 stolen vehicles and several local businesses from information stemming from a traffic enforcement stop by the Ontario P.D.

The investigation involved the fraudulent removal of lien holders (legal owners) from the vehicles' titles, commonly known as “Title Washing.” These vehicles were then utilized to commit various additional crimes throughout Southern California. The coordination of resources from numerous multi-jurisdictional task forces and agencies resulted in 103 vehicles being recovered or accounted for.

In addition, as a result of the operation, three weapons were seized and 18 additional vehicles were identified as either possibly stolen, vin-switched or fraudulently purchased.

Original Article: http://www.fontanaheraldnews.com/news/article_b6060e62-bf91-11e4-bdaf-33e7e10ecf2b.html

Johnson County sees increase in fake car titles

Johnson County officials are cracking down on an increasing number of attempts to use fraudulently obtained vehicle titles at the Treasurer's Office.

The Treasurer's Office used to catch about one person a year trying to use a stolen or fraudulent car title to take ownership of a stolen vehicle, County Treasurer Tom Kriz said. Now, they're catching about one a month.

The increase in fraudulent titles began three years ago, Kriz said, and has put county staff in a tough position as they try to spot them from among the 3,000 title transfers handled each month.

People who present fraudulent titles also have been creating a scene at the county administration building recently as police have been called to arrest those attempting to commit the fraud.

On Feb. 5, Tyson E Marshek, 30, of Iowa City, was arrested for allegedly trying to obtain a fraudulent title for a stolen 2011 Infiniti, according to online court documents.

Marshek was a part of a large auto theft ring based in Chicago, according to an email from Iowa Department of Transportation Investigator Matt Dingbaum. Marshek was charged with fraudulent practice, a class C felony, according to court records.

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Former Car Dealer Gets Shock Incarceration for Altering Odometers

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.

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Thieves copying VIN from cars to re-use on stolen cars

MyFoxAL.com - FOX6 WBRC Birmingham, AL

ATLANTA (CBS46) - Metro Atlanta police are keeping an eye out for a rising trend among car thieves called cloning.

David Renaud, with the National Insurance Crime Bureau, said the problem started surfacing about five years ago.

"They're stealing a car, and then they will clone the VIN. In other words... remanufacture the dash VIN, the labels on the car and everything," Renaud said.

The VIN, or vehicle identification number, is basically a fingerprint for your car. Renaud said that thieves can copy your VIN, and if they had a stolen car that was a similar make and model to yours, they could then use your VIN to clone the stolen car.

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Car dealer who fraudulently sold cars damaged in Hurricane Sandy gets 3 years in prison

Christopher Baxter | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

Jonathan Olin, 42, of Manalapan, was sentenced to three years in prison today for orchestrating the creation of false vehicle titles in order to sell cars damaged during Hurricane Sandy, state authorities said. (Courtesy of N.J. Attorney General's Office)

TRENTON — A Middlesex County car dealer who used fraudulent vehicle titles to sell cars damaged during Hurricane Sandy was sentenced today to three years in state prison, state authorities said.

Jonathan Olin, 42, of Manalapan, for former operator of D&D Auto Sales in Old Bridge, admitted in August that he obtained fraudulent "clean" titles for eight vehicles, seven of which were sold to unsuspecting customers by Pinky N Brain Corp., doing business as D&D.

One of his associates, Jessie Dinome, 30, of Jackson, a former employee at the Freehold Motor Vehicle Agency, accessed state computers to create the false titles, the state Attorney General's Office said. Dinome was sentenced to probation in October.

The seven vehicles were sold for a total of about $86,000, authorities said. Olin pleaded guilty to theft by deception and was ordered to pay full restitution to the victims. A third person, Jacob Douek, 40, of Staten Island, N.Y., still faces charges in the scheme.

The case was referred to the Attorney General's Office by the state Motor Vehicle Commission after receiving information from the National Salvage Vehicle Reporting Program and ABC News, which investigated how flooded vehicles ended up on car lots.

Original Article: http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2014/12/car_dealer_who_fraudulently_sold_cars

Defendant in Odometer Tampering Scheme Sentenced to 60 Months’ Imprisonment


Office of Public Affairs

United States v. Kyle Novitsky and Judith Aloe
Docket Number: 5:12-CR-657 (E.D.P.A.)

On October 9, 2014, Kyle Novitsky was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia to serve 60 months’ imprisonment on charges related to an odometer tampering conspiracy. He was also ordered to pay restitution of $1,482,000 to victims. In April, 2014, the defendant pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to tamper with odometers, make false odometer certifications, and commit securities fraud, and two counts each of securities fraud and making false odometer certifications.

Novitsky rolled back odometers on used cars and trucks to make the vehicles appear more valuable. Doing business under various company names, Novitsky sold close to 250 vehicles with rolled back odometers. Novitsky’s co-defendant, Judith Aloe, is a fugitive, having failed to appear for trial in May in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia.

Feds Charge Pair with Sales of 247 Mileage Tampered Cars

300px-Jeep_OdometerAccording to Federal prosecutors, from as early as 2004 and through at least 2010, Kyle Novitsky, 45, and Judith Aloe, 52, both of North Miami Beach, FL, purchased high-mileage, used motor vehicles in Florida, California and elsewhere from a national vehicle leasing company.  Thereafter, Novitsky and Aloe allegedly altered the motor vehicle titles and sales documentation associated with these vehicles to reflect lower mileage, and, relying upon such fraudulent certifications, the Commonwealth ofPennsylvania issued motor vehicle titles reflecting the false mileage.

On January 17, 2013, a federal grand jury in Philadelphia unsealed an indictment charging Novitsky abd Aloe with making false odometer statements, securities fraud and conspiracy to commit these offenses. Novitsky and Aloe are charged with selling 247 motor vehicles — some with mileage fraudulently understated by over 100,000 miles — at wholesale automobile auctions in Manheim, PA, and elsewhere, and providing Pennsylvania titles that the defendants knew were issued based upon fraudulent lower mileage.

Note: Charges in an Indictment are only allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

The Department of Justice, Office of Consumer Protection Litigation offers an online resource about Odometer Tampering and also offers this helpful consumer checklist:

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