Two Long Beach, Mississippi men were sentenced today for their roles in a long-running odometer tampering scheme, the Department of Justice announced.
U.S. District Judge Louis Guirola Jr. sentenced Oscar M. Baine, 42, to 36 months’ incarceration and ordered him to pay $619,200 in restitution. Jeffrey Lyn Savarese II, 36, was sentenced to 15 months’ incarceration and ordered to pay $320,000 in restitution. Both men pleaded guilty in July to conspiracy to alter odometers. Baine also pleaded guilty to odometer tampering.
As part of his guilty plea, Baine admitted that he purchased high-mileage vehicles from wholesale automobile auctions, dealerships, and individuals, and arranged to alter the vehicles’ odometers to reflect false, lower-mileage readings. Baine admitted that he paid Savarese and others to change or alter odometers at his used car lot in Gulfport. Baine then sold the rolled-back vehicles to unsuspecting consumers for inflated prices. He also admitted that he and a co-conspirator caused at least 387 vehicles to be rolled back between 2011 and 2014, which resulted in consumer losses of more than $600,000. Savarese admitted that he began altering odometers for Mississippi and Louisiana used-car dealers in 2011 and reset the odometers on at least 200 used vehicles for Baine.
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.
A Norfolk man conspired to roll back the odometers of more than 50 vehicles before selling them to used-car dealerships and others, according to court documents.
Lawson W. Basnight, 47, pleaded guilty Thursday to the fraud – which resulted in $250,000 to $550,000 in losses.
“He’s accepted responsibility and knows what he did was wrong,” Moody “Sonny” Stallings Jr., Basnight’s attorney, said after the plea hearing. He said his client expects to serve some time in jail and was ready to start his sentence Thursday, “but the judge talked him out of it.”
A sentencing hearing is set for May 16 in U.S. District Court in Norfolk. Basnight faces a maximum of five years in prison.
Prosecutors Jacqueline Blaesi-Freed and Elizabeth Yusi declined to comment.
Our 2011 Conference in Charleston, West Virginia was terrific! Conference attendees received hours of quality education in techniques, skills and case presentations to further their expertise in odometer and title fraud issues.
Stay tuned for information on our 2012, combined MOTFEA/NOTFEA Conference in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Be sure and save the date: June 3rd-7th, 2012! More information will be in the NOTFEA/MOTFEA Conference link as it becomes available.
The National Odometer and Title Fraud Enforcement Association (NOTFEA) is a non-profit, professional organization formed originally in 1980 as the National Odometer Enforcement Association (NOEA).
The association is chartered as a non-profit corporation with the Commonwealth of Virginia and is registered as a 501(C)(3) organization with the Internal Revenue Service.
Membership in NOTFEA is restricted to individuals working for law enforcement and consumer protection agencies, licensing and motor vehicle departments, and private attorneys and investigators who are responsible for detecting, deterring, and prosecuting odometer, rebuilt/salvage, and other title fraud offenders under state, federal, and other applicable laws.