Fennville couple accused of vehicle fraud

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A Montcalm County man is suing a Fennville couple for allegedly selling him a pickup truck that had nearly 150,000 more miles on it than its odometer showed.

Anthony Woldring Roberts and his wife, Ashley Roberts, are accused of violating the Federal Odometer Act, fraud and reselling vehicles without a dealer license through their business, A&A Quality Services.

In the federal lawsuit filed in Grand Rapids Tuesday, lawyers for Jarred Stratton say the couple bought a pickup truck from Chicago businessman Ramiro Padilla, who is accused of purchasing high mileage vehicles and often rolling back the odometers or swapping them out for ones displaying a lower mileage.

The lawsuit accuses Padilla of buying the pickup truck from a Colorado auction, then getting a new title in Illinois, a state that does not disclose mileage in its titles.

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Maine couple stuck with a lemon of a vehicle – and now they know why

Patrick and Kristi Smith of Waterville stand with their 2005 Subaru Outback after learning Thursday that the vehicle’s seller, James Shaw of Standish, allegedly tampered with the odometer. “It actually answers a bunch of questions for us,” Kristi Smith said. “We’ve had nothing but problems.” Staff photo by Michael G. Seamans

When Kristi Smith and her husband, Patrick, bought their Subaru from a Standish man in January 2017, she knew something seemed off. 

The 2005 Outback had only 117,000 miles on it, and for the Smith family, the price was right – $3,500.

“We went to go buy the car and the guy wouldn’t look me in the face,” said Kristi Smith, 43. “But it was a really good deal with low miles, so it was like, ‘Whatever.’ ”

Now, 15 months and several thousand dollars in car repairs later, the Smiths are among more than a dozen car buyers who were allegedly suckered by James Shaw, 35, who has been charged with tampering with the vehicles’ odometers and other crimes.

Shaw was supposed to appear Thursday in Cumberland County Unified Criminal Court to answer to the 17-count complaint, but he didn’t show up, so a judge issued a warrant for his arrest, court records show.

The complaint, issued by the state Bureau of Motor Vehicles, is the culmination of two years of work.

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Man pleads guilty to running license plate fraud ring

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – A New York man has admitted to operating a crime ring that rented out more than a thousand fake Pennsylvania license plates.

Rafael Levi, 51, of Brooklyn, pleaded guilty Friday in Dauphin County Court to 36 third-degree felonies, Attorney General Josh Shapiro’s office said. Levi was charged in April 2017 with more than 500 counts.

Prosecutors said the ring charged $400 a month for fake plates that people used in order to avoid paying more than $1 million in parking fines and highway tolls in New York, Pennsylvania, and neighboring states.

The ring dubbed “Operation Car Wash” also provided fake insurance cards, rolled back odometer readings on cars it bought and sold, and issued phony letters to PennDOT to get clean vehicle titles.

Levi also pleaded guilty on behalf of nine businesses. Each will be ordered to pay a fine of $10,000 and a civil penalty of $15,000.

Eight members of the ring also pleaded guilty Friday to crimes including theft and insurance fraud.

Shapiro said his office is seeking restitution of more than $1.5 million from the defendants.

As part of his plea, Levi agreed to forfeit numerous luxury vehicles including a 2015 Rolls Royce Wraith, a 2015 Ferrari, and a 2007 Ferrari F430.

Original Article: http://abc27.com/2018/03/12/man-pleads-guilty-to-running-license-plate-fraud-ring/ 

Massachusetts State police warn of vehicle odometer rollback scam

The Massachusetts State Police, in conjunction with the Missouri Highway Patrol have been investigating a series of consumer frauds, related to the purchase and subsequent sale of motor vehicles by a man and woman residing in Connecticut and the Kansas City Metropolitan area.

The couple purchases a vehicle, typically from the Craigslist internet auction site. The vehicle’s mileage reading is altered and the vehicle is placed back on Craigslist. The two suspects pose as the previous owners of the vehicle. The investigation revealed approximately 48 vehicle purchases/sales within the past year in the Kansas City Missouri area and an undetermined number of vehicles sold in the Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut. It is possible not all the transactions involve an odometer rollback. Investigators are seeking to discuss these transactions with the sellers and purchasers of these vehicles. There has been no indication of impropriety on behalf of the sellers or purchasers, and investigators are still trying to determine the potential number of victims.

The suspects do not use their names during, and typically use disposable pay-as-you-go cell phones. The man is approximately 5’9”, medium build, and has an “East Coast” accent. If present, the woman typically stays in a green Nissan Quest minivan with their children while the transactions are conducted.

If you or someone you know has purchased a vehicle from these individuals please contact Massachusetts State Police Compliance Unit Trooper Stephen Walker, at 857-368-8626.

Original Article: https://www.newbedfordguide.com/massachusetts-state-police-warn-of-vehicle-odometer-rollback-scam/2017/06/01

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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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

Police: (PA)Nanticoke man altered odometer, title of car he tried to sell

KINGSTON — A Nanticoke man faces multiple charges after he allegedly altered the odometer and title of a car he sold to a Kingston man.

State police at Wyoming say Terry Matthew Panetta, 33, acquired a silver Ford Mustang and the title to the vehicle in September 2013, then disassembled the instrument cluster and altered the odometer by “blacking out” digits with a black marker.

Panetta then altered the vehicle title to indicate that the vehicle had less mileage than the actual mileage recorded, and then offered the car for sale on the Craigslist website, police said.

A 21-year-old man from Kingston responded to the ad, met with Panetta to see the vehicle at a location on Pringle Street in Kingston and arranged to buy the car from Panetta, according to police.

After the vehicle sale, the odometer discrepancy was discovered and the Kingston man, whom police did not identify, contacted state police.

Following an investigation, police on Tuesday charged Panetta with felony counts of forgery, tampering with public records or information, changing an odometer reading and washing a vehicle title, a misdemeanor count of theft by deception/false impression and a summary count of improper transfer of ownership.

Panetta was arraigned before District Judge James Roberts and released on $25,000 unsecured bail. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Oct. 21 before Roberts.

Original Article: http://www.timesleader.com/news/local-news-news/50452291/

(Grand Rapids) Target 8: Odometer rollback revealed

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Marc Libants was attached to his old Honda Civic. He even refers to the 1997 four-door as a ‘she.’ He said it wasn’t easy giving her up, but he had no need for the old car anymore, so he sold it.

Two days later, he spotted the Civic up for sale online. He knew it was his because it was missing the Honda insignia due to a previous incident. It also listed the phone number of the person to whom he had sold the car.

“I got a little suspicious and as I read the ad, it said that the car had 127,000 miles on it and that kind of made some alarm bells go off,” said Libants.

He said that wouldn’t be possible “unless he drove it in reverse for a long, long ways.”

Target 8 has warned consumers about people rolling back odometers so they can jack up the price of old cars.

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This Cuyahoga Falls Odometer Scam Looks Like Something Straight Out of Matilda

A Cuyahoga Falls man was indicted on multiple felony charges on Thursday for defrauding car buyers by selling high-milage vehicles on Craigslist after he had rolled back their odometers.

Sounds a lot like the Danny DeVito character from the 1996 film Matilda, no?

35-year-old Shannon G. Payne was indicted on six counts of tampering with records and single counts of theft, forgery, and identity fraud reported 19 Action News.

The charges involve three instances in which Payne is accused of purchasing vehicles on Craigslist and having the owner assign the title to him.

He also used fake power-of-attorney forms and solicited the notary services of his wife in order to obtain replacement titles, after which he rigged the odometers in the vehicles to reflect a lower mileage.

Payne's wife was not charged in the case, but she has surrendered her notary commission.

Original Article: http://www.clevescene.com/scene-and-heard/archives/2013/06/28/3593236-this-cuyahoga-falls-odometer-scam-looks-like-something-straight-out-of-the-movie-matilda

Cuyahoga Falls: BMW Investigations/ Cuyahoga Falls Police

AKRON, OH (WOIO) -

A Cuyahoga Falls man who defrauded car buyers by selling high-mileage vehicles on Craigslist after rolling back the odometers was indicted on multiple felony charges on Thursday, June 27, 2013, by a Summit County grand jury.

Shannon G. Payne, 35, who also is a registered sex offender, was indicted on six counts of tampering with records and single counts of theft, forgery and identity fraud following an investigation by BMV Investigations and Cuyahoga Falls police.

The charges involve three transactions in which Payne is accused of buying vehicles on Craigslist and having the owner assign the title to him.

The investigation found that Payne subsequently used falsified power-of-attorney forms - utilizing the notary services of his wife, Carrianne Payne, to obtain replacement titles - after which he swapped out the odometers in the vehicles to reflect a lower mileage.

Carrianne Payne was not charged in the case, but she has surrendered her notary commission.

BMV Investigations has identified other apparent victims of this scheme. They can contact BMV Investigator Robert Gallo at (440) 845-1850.

Copyright 2013 WOIO. All rights reserved.

Original Article: http://www.19actionnews.com/story/22715758/cuyahoga-falls-man-indicted-in-odometer-rollback-scam