Rule will speed up processing of vehicle sales, help prevent odometer fraud
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) today announced the publication of a Final Rule establishing standards under which States may allow for odometer disclosures in an electronic format.
Odometer fraud is a Federal crime and NHTSA has required sellers to disclose vehicle odometer readings at the time of sale for decades. However, most vehicle transfers have been subject to a requirement that odometer disclosures be made in a paper format with handwritten names and wet ink signatures.
This Final Rule removes the paper requirement by allowing for electronic disclosure systems that have robust security and authentication. This action also removes the last remaining Federal impediment to paperless motor vehicle transfers.
By removing the paper documentation requirement, today’s Final Rule opens the door for State Departments of Motor Vehicles to move toward paperless transactions. Paperless transactions will save time and reduce costs for consumers and industry, create economic efficiencies, and improve security.
“This Final Rule was written after carefully considering comments received from the public, including state motor vehicle departments,” NHTSA Acting Administrator James Owens said. “As more records are kept digitally, this rule will allow electronic filing of odometer information. Electronic records are more efficient than paper documentation and are harder to forge, helping to prevent fraud.”
Current law does not require odometer disclosure with the transfer of vehicles at least 10 model years old. Due to the current average vehicle age of almost 12 years, an increasingly large proportion of the fleet is subject to a heightened risk of odometer fraud. To accommodate older vehicles, the Final Rule will require odometer disclosures until vehicles are 20 years old, beginning with the 2010 model year.
A Studio City man pleaded guilty today for operating a computerized odometer rollback business for vehicles that were leased from dealerships in the San Fernando Valley and Glendale, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.
Serge Oganesian, 45, entered his plea to six felony counts: one count of conspiracy to commit grand theft and five counts of computer access and fraud.
Sentencing in case BA472209 is scheduled for April 21, 2020, in Department 50 of the Foltz Criminal Justice Center. The defendant is expected to receive a 16-month jail sentence and will be ordered to pay a $15,000 fine.
Oganesian had been running his odometer rollback business since April 2015 in North Hollywood, Glendale and Studio City at various times, according to Deputy District Attorney Leonard Torrealba of the Consumer Protection Division.
The defendant hacked the computers of 12 vehicles and rolled back the vehicle odometer readings. The altered mileage amounted to $76,394 in false vehicle appreciation, the prosecutor said.
Vehicle valuation is highly dependent on vehicle mileage. Consumers rely on the vehicle odometer reading in making their used car purchases, the prosecutor added.
The case was investigated by the California Department of Motor Vehicles, with assistance from the District Attorney’s Office’s Bureau of Investigation.
Huntsville – A federal judge today, sentenced a Huntsville man for tampering with vehicle odometers and bank fraud, announced U.S. Attorney Jay E. Town and U.S. Secret Service Acting Special Agent in Charge Robert Holloway.
A federal jury convicted Randy Eugene Greene, 62, in April of 11 counts of tampering with vehicle odometers and 3 counts of bank fraud. U.S. District Judge Abdul K. Kallon sentenced Greene to 30 months in prison, followed by three years supervised release and ordered him to pay more than $109,000 in restitution to the victims. The judge also entered a forfeiture judgment in the amount of $28,000.
“Greene violated the trust and confidence placed in him by the consumers and financial institutions,” Town said. “The theft and misuse of funds will not be tolerated by those who operate these type of schemes. They will be charged with federal crimes and will to go federal prison.”
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - On Thursday, a federal judge sentenced a Huntsville man for tampering with vehicle odometers and bank fraud, announced U.S. Attorney Jay E. Town and U.S. Secret Service Acting Special Agent in Charge Robert Holloway.
ARLINGTON, Wis. - The Wisconsin Department of Transportation Division of Motor Vehicles has revoked the licenses for two car dealers with ties to Columbia County.
An investigation by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation's Dealer and Agent Section found that Best Motors and Manhattan Motors sold vehicles with mileage discrepancies, which is in violation of state law. The dealerships have licenses operated out of Arlington, Wisconsin. The licenses are linked to a business at 101 Skyline Drive in Arlington. Under Wisconsin state law, each licensee must have an office location and Best Motors and Manhattan Motors are registered to this location.
It is possible that these licenses belong to dealerships operated in another state.
The Wisconsin Department of Transportation's Dealer and Agent Section licenses, regulates and resolves disputes about dealerships sales and warranty repairs, as well as educates the motor vehicle industry and public. The group also investigates complaints about odometer tampering involving dealerships and private sellers.
Two Long Beach, Mississippi, men pleaded guilty today for their roles in a long-running odometer tampering scheme, the Department of Justice announced.
Oscar M. Baine, 41, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to alter odometers and one count of odometer tampering. Jeffrey Lyn Savarese II, 35, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to alter odometers. Both defendants appeared in federal court in Gulfport before U.S. District Judge Louis Guirola Jr. The court set sentencing hearings for both defendants for Oct. 17.
As part of his plea agreement, 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. 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.
A Powhatan County man was convicted Monday for his role in a scheme that rolled back the odometers on more than 50 vehicles, fraudulently boosting the value of each one by as much as $10,000.
Michael Carey Eubank, 52, who owns an automotive electronics repair shop in Powhatan, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to alter a motor vehicle odometer and faces up to five years in prison when sentenced Oct. 9 by U.S. District Judge John A. Gibney Jr.
A two-page criminal charge filed June 10 alleged that Eubank’s company website advertised services that included “odometer re-programming or re-setting.” It also stated that, “Mileage proof [is] required, odometer tampering is a federal crime.”
The charge only identified the company as “Company 1.” But Eubank told Gibney on Monday that his company is Advanced Auto Electronics and was formerly located in Midlothian.
FORT MYERS, Fla. — A Lee County deputy who once campaigned for sheriff is on administrative leave, and now his business is under investigation by a state agency.
James Didio ran for Lee County Sheriff in 2016. Fox 4 has learned that a customer of Didio's used car business, Southwest Florida Motors in Fort Myers, claims that someone rolled back the odometer on a car they bought there.
Last week, the Lee County Sheriff's Office confirmed that Didio has been placed on administrative leave, but would not say why.
Fox 4 found that a customer complained to the Better Business Bureau in March that a car purchased at Southwest Florida Motors showed an odometer reading of about 107,000 miles. The complaint states that "the car has over 160,000 miles, but shows 107,000 from having the odometer illegally changed." The customer claims that the discrepancy was discovered by checking oil change records.
In a response to the complaint, Southwest Florida Motors wrote, "The moment I was informed of a possible odometer fraud from years before I ever owned the vehicle, we did a complete AutoCheck Dealer VIN scan. The check came back 'No odometer fraud found.'"
The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles is investigating the complaint, but the Lee County Sheriff's Office will not confirm that is the reason for Didio's administrative leave..
Didio could not be reached for comment on this story.
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.