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.Continue reading
Used car buyers in Austin are getting ripped off in record numbers. Con artists are rolling back the mileage on odometers to make the vehicles seem more valuable. The fraud is costing victims an average of $4,000 each.Continue reading
Even with the dawn on the digital odometer, used car buyers should be aware of odometer fraud. That's the warning from Carfax.
"In fact these digital odometers can be easier to rollback because A) we're not looking for it and B), there's widespread availability of tools that simply plug into the car's computer and essentially hacking it," said Chris Basso of Carfax.
Basso suggests checking with a site like Carfax or having an auto mechanic check out the car you're considering before you purchase.
For the full demonstration of how a digital odometer can be rolled back, see the video player above.
Father and son arrested on fraud in Crawford County after altering odometer readings and re-selling vehicles.
St. Louis, MO – Melvin Harmon was sentenced to 33 months incarceration and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $119,359.92 for conspiracy to defraud the United States and mail fraud by assisting Missouri residents in registering their cars in Illinois.
According to evidence at trial, between January 1, 2015 and December 20, 2016, Melvin Harmon was employed at a Granite City, Illinois office registering vehicles for the State of Illinois Secretary of State. He used his employment to assist Missouri residents in obtaining fraudulent motor vehicle registrations for others in exchange for a fee. Some of the Missouri residents learned of his services when they saw flyers advertising Harmon as “The Plate Man.”Continue reading
JEFFERSON CITY — Special Agents Doug Scotten and Mike Fryer, of the Missouri Department of Revenue’s Compliance and Investigation Bureau (CIB), recently assisted the Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP) in Operation Clean Sweep. The operation’s purpose was to identify salvage operations in the Kansas City metropolitan area, ensure compliance with Missouri salvage laws and locate stolen vehicles.
Operation Clean Sweep took place over the course of two days in mid-May. During that time, the task force identified an unlicensed salvage operation and a large, illegal “chop shop” operation. The task force also checked the accuracy of 898 vehicle identification numbers, visited approximately 23 salvage and body shop businesses being checked for compliance, and recovered 12 stolen vehicles, two stolen trailers and one stolen piece of equipment.
“The general purpose of investigations like Operation Clean Sweep is to ensure businesses are in compliance with Missouri’s salvage licensure laws, as well as sales tax and titling laws related to motor vehicles,” said CIB Investigation Manager Nick Humphrey. “As part of Operation Clean Sweep, DOR investigators provided their expertise in checking the validity of vehicle identification numbers, business record requirements, odometer tampering and vehicle title tampering.”
A number of stolen vehicles were found inside a suspected 'chop shop' in Independence.
When officers inspected a storage lot, they found dismantled vehicles with VIN numbers missing.
Among them was the truck that belonged to Brian Sollars, who posted a picture of his stolen 2012 GMC online on the Stolen KC Facebook page.
Sollars said a stranger reached out to him shortly after, providing details about the truck.
JEFFERSON CITY — Special Agent Doug Scotten, of the Missouri Department of Revenue’s Compliance and Investigation Bureau (CIB), recently worked an investigation with the Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP) that ultimately led to the breakup of a suspected “chop shop” operation in Independence, Missouri.
“I want to commend Agent Scotten and the Missouri State Highway Patrol for their great work in this case,” said Department Director Joel Walters. “Thanks to their investigation, there’s now one less illegal enterprise in the state of Missouri and several reports of stolen vehicles have been resolved.”
After Brian Sollars posted a picture on Facebook of his 2012 GMC pickup that had been stolen from his residence, he was contacted on Facebook by a stranger who claimed he knew the truck’s location and was able to provide an accurate description. The anonymous source gave Sollars the address, which was for a shop and storage lot on N Atherton Road in Independence. Sollars then reached out to the Bates County Sheriff’s Office, who forwarded the information to Agent Scotten with the CIB. Agent Scotten then contacted the MSHP for assistance in investigating the incident.
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. — The United States Attorney’s Office announced that Nicholas H. Brock, 36, of Kennett, Missouri, pled guilty to one felony count of mail fraud. He appeared before United States District Judge John A. Ross.
Brock admitted that beginning on or about Feb. 10, 2017, and continuing through about June 13, 2017, in Dunklin County, Missouri, he defrauded a lien holder for an over-the-road tractor trailer truck financed by North Mill Equipment Finance, LLC, for a 2008 Peterbilt over-the-road truck in which the lender retained a security interest. Brock prepared and sent, via the mail, a Form 4577, Missouri Department of Revenue, Vehicle Owner and Lien holder notification to the lender, falsely claiming that a 2008 Peterbilt over-the-road tractor trailer truck had been towed by his towing company, Elite Tow & Recovery, from Pendleton, Oregon, on February 10, 2017, for a “breakdown.” The towing charge was $16,096 plus storage costs of $100 a day. Brock mailed the fraudulent Form 4577 for the purpose of obtaining a clean title for that vehicle from the Missouri Department of Revenue as an abandoned vehicle, based on the lienholder’s failure to pay the tow bill after receiving notice of the bill.
Brock also prepared a Form 4576, Missouri Department of Revenue Abandoned Property Affidavit, in which Brock falsely represented to the Missouri Department of Revenue that the 2008 Peterbilt truck had been abandoned. Brock mailed that form to the Missouri Department of Revenue to obtain a Certificate of Title for the over-the-road truck, based on a bogus and false tow bill.
Jackson, Miss. – Mark Longgrear, 53, of Jackson, Mississippi was arrested yesterday and charged in a federal criminal complaint with rolling back the odometers of multiple high mileage vehicles and selling such fraudulently altered vehicles with doctored titles, announced U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst and Supervisory Special Agent David W. Sparks with the U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Office of Odometer Fraud Investigation.
Longgrear appeared in court today for an initial appearance on the criminal complaint before U.S. Magistrate Judge Linda R. Anderson.
According to the criminal complaint and affidavit, for at least the last four years, Mark Longgrear, operating individually and through his company Southern Auto Buyers LLC, bought more than 50 late model, high mileage vehicles from auctions, dealerships, and/or individuals, thereafter illegally altered the odometers of such vehicles to show lower mileage, forged and fraudulently created paperwork to secure new titles showing false lower mileage for these vehicles, and then sold said vehicles directly to individuals and automobile dealerships at much higher prices. He used internet websites to sell some of these vehicles directly to consumers, and also used employment and wholesale relationships with large Mississippi automobile dealerships in Jackson and Vicksburg to sell these fraudulently altered odometer vehicles to these dealerships, who in turn unknowingly sold them to consumers with this false information.