Digital license plates could be in Florida’s future

Digital license plates may be the future and it could help save taxpayers millions.

According to NBC News, a company called Reviver Auto has developed electronic license plates, dubbed Rplates

Rplates are now on sale in California, and will be available in Arizona, Texas and Florida in the near future.

Reviver Auto CEO Neville Boston said his company is working to legalize them in another nine states by the end of the year.

The plates retail for $699, plus a monthly service plan that costs up to $7.75 for the desktop browser-based software to manage the system and optional GPS tracking.

With the plates, drivers would never have to renew their tag in person at the DMV office or through the mail.  They could simply do it online with no need to replace stickers each year.

The same goes for customization. 

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Iowa DOT warning of cars sold with odometers rolled back

A Sioux City car dealer was rolling back odometers on vehicles to show fewer miles and increase the vehicle's value, the Iowa Department of Transportation says.

The DOT says the fraud happened at Siouxland Sales in Sioux City from 2016 to 2018. The DOT says it got a tip in December of last year. An investigation found three victims and 14 vehicles that were tampered with. Authorities served a search warrant on Jan. 17.

 

Siouxland Sales owner Francisco Hurtado was booked in the Woodbury County Jail April 26 on six counts of second-degree fraudulent practice.

Anyone affected should call the Bureau of Investigation and Identity Protection at 515-237-3050 or email invbureau@iowadot.us with vehicle and contact information.

Original Article: http://kcci.com/article/iowa-dot-warning-of-cars-sold-with-odometers-rolled-back/20172284?src=app 

Mother-daughter employees of Central Texas tax office arrested

CAMERON, Texas (KWTX) A mother and daughter who worked in the Milam County Tax Office were free on bond Tuesday after they were arrested on warrants stemming from an investigation of forged vehicle registrations.

Lydia Cervantes, 55, and her daughter Laura Renee Cervantes, 26, were arrested at the tax office Monday by agents from the Texas Department of Public Safety, Milam County Sheriff David E. Green said.

Green said both were booked into the county jail and were released after posting bond.

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Two arrested in misconduct investigation into Denton County Tax Office

Two people were arrested on bribery charges last month in connection with a misconduct investigation into the Denton County Tax Office.

Former tax office employee Tramanski Johnson, who worked at the Lewisville branch, was booked into Denton County Jail on Sept. 12 after turning himself in on the bribery charge, police said. Juana Caballero, a notary public who allegedly notarized forged documents, was booked on the bribery charge Sept. 11.

The Denton County Sheriff's Office investigated the case. The affidavit in support of the suspects' arrest outlines a complex scheme involving bribes to process fraudulent vehicle title transfers.

The tax office collects property taxes, renews vehicle registrations and contracts with several car dealerships to issue titles on new vehicles. The office has six locations within the county, including Lewisville, Cross Roads, Frisco and Flower Mound. The main Denton office is at 1505 E. McKinney St. Continue reading

‘Rolling back’ suspect accused of tampering with hundreds of vehicles

A Grand Prairie man is accused of rolling back odometers to hundreds of vehicles in Texas. Star-Telegram - Courtesy

Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (TxDMV) – Press Release

Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (TxDMV)

In April 2014, the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (TxDMV) received several complaints from a county tax office regarding the use of fraudulent identification documents to transfer titles. The TxDMV opened an investigation and determined Damaris Sarai Martinez submitted over 40 title transactions listing fraudulent Texas driver licenses, fraudulent addresses, and fraudulent trade allowances. The TxDMV partnered with the Texas Department of Public Safety Criminal Investigation Division to further investigate Martinez. A search warrant was obtained for a location where she operated and fraudulent documents were obtained. Martinez was charged for violation of Texas Transportation Code, Section 501.155, False Name, False Information, and Forgery, which is a third degree felony. On February 24, 2017, she entered into a plea agreement for ten years confinement in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and payment of a $2,000 fine. The sentence was suspended, and she was placed on probation for five years. Martinez was subsequently taken into custody by Immigration and Customs Enforcement for deportation.

Former tax office clerks allegedly violated code by giving illegal discounts

Two former employees of the Brazos County Tax Office turned themselves in earlier this week after authorities say they illegally gave people discounts on vehicle transfer taxes.

According to the Brazos County Sheriff's Office, April Arredondo, 36, of Bryan, admitted to processing about 50 fraudulent vehicle title transfers in ways that gave the person receiving the vehicle a tax discount. She told investigators she was compensated $20 to $50 per transaction.

Sonya Tijerina Munoz, 26, of Bryan, told investigators she submitted a similar fraudulent affidavit to Arredondo for her to process, authorities said.

Each woman bonded out of jail shortly after they were booked. They're accused of violating the Texas Transportation Code by providing false information. If convicted, each woman faces two to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine for the third-degree felonies.

According to a probable cause statement from the sheriff's office, who investigated the case with the help of the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles, county tax employees observed Arredondo processing title transfer applications while no customers were present, and that signatures may have been forged. Arredondo was terminated from the tax office in February when the employees reported what they saw, the report says. Munoz resigned her position in late spring.

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Road Warrior: Low miles? Used car may be too good to be true

Hardly anybody I know pays much attention to the odometer reading when buying a used car — unless, of course, it’s exceptionally high. After all, low mileage is usually the main qualifier when buying a pre-owned vehicle because it suggests the two of you will likely enjoy a few more good years before it gives you serious trouble.

But judging by an arrest for odometer fraud in South Hackensack a week ago, ignoring a low-mileage reading might mark the beginning of serious trouble. “Odometer fraud? How’d they do that?” said Sal, an otherwise astute car owner I know from Barnegat.

Like me, Sal thought rolling back odometers was the kind of crime that all but disappeared when computers were introduced in most cars around the end of the 20th century. Those of us who began driving when hood ornaments were still popular remember how amateur mechanics would break into the odometer housing behind the dashboard and roll back the miles by hand.

Those days are long gone. And so is the housing, said Robert Foster, an officer in a consortium of state investigators called the National Odometer and Title Fraud Enforcement Association.

“It’s easier to do now than it was before computerization,” said Foster. “With the right kind of knowledge and software, a mechanic can get into the onboard computer and reset the mileage to anything he wants.”

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Lutz man arrested for selling cars with altered odometers

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LUTZ, Fla. - One Lutz man thought he was getting a deal on a used car, but he nearly got taken for a ride.

Deputies said a self-proclaimed car dealer was selling people vehicles with altered odometers.

According to the sign out front, Carmona Service Corporation will do body and mechanic work on your car.  But on Wednesday, 64-year-old Pedro Carmona was arrested and charged with 11 counts, including tampering with the odometers on four vehicles.

Just last week, Mahesh Modha said he saw an ad on Craigslist for a Toyota Corolla LE with 31,000 miles for less than $10,000.

“We were ready to pay cash also, but it turned out we were scammed," Modha said.

Modha said Pedro Carbona and his nephew Gio met him to sell the car. Modha paid $1,000, got a receipt and promised to pay the rest.

"They were claiming to be a dealer actually, you know Gio said my uncle is a dealer, so I said I normally trust dealer because dealer had a license," Modha said.

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