NHTSA Announces Final Rule on Electronic Odometer Disclosures

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.

Man Pleads Guilty to Vehicle Odometer Rollback Scheme

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.

Original Article: http://da.co.la.ca.us/media/news/man-pleads-guilty-vehicle-odometer-rollback-scheme

Huntsville Man Sentenced to 2 ½ Years in Prison for Tampering with Vehicle Odometers

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.”

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Huntsville car salesman sentenced for odometer tampering, bank fraud

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.

Huntsville car salesman convicted of tampering with odometers, bank fraud ]

A federal jury convicted Randy Eugene Greene, 62, in April, of 11 counts of tampering with vehicle odometers and three counts of bank fraud.

U.S. District Judge Abdul K. Kallon sentenced Greene to 30 months in prison followed by three years supervised release. Greene is also ordered to pay more than $109,000 in restitution to the victims.

The judge also entered a forfeiture judgment in the amount of $28,000.

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News car odometer rolled back 45,000 miles by Denver-area business

LITTLETON, Colo. -- The U.S. Justice Department calls it “clocking”: intentionally rolling back an odometer to make a vehicle appear less used.

Odometer rollback is “the single most common fraudulent issue in Colorado and nationwide." That's a bold statement made by one of this state's top auto enforcement regulators.

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Huntsville Man Convicted on Multiple Counts of Tampering with Vehicle Odometers and Bank Fraud

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Huntsville – A federal jury on Thursday, April 4, 2019, convicted a Huntsville man on multiple counts of tampering with vehicle odometers and three counts of bank fraud, announced U.S. Attorney Jay E. Town and U.S. Secret Service Special Agent in Charge Michael Williams. 

Following a four day trial before U.S. District Judge Abdul K. Kallon, and only a 20-minute deliberation by the jury, Randy Eugene Greene, 62, was convicted of 11 counts of tampering with vehicle odometers and 3 counts of bank fraud.  A sentencing date has been set before Judge Abdul K. Kallon on July 17, 2019.

Randy Eugene Greene, d/b/a RJ’s Auto Sales on South Memorial Parkway in Huntsville, was convicted by the jury of 11 counts of tampering with vehicle odometers and 3 counts of bank fraud.  In the 11 counts related to odometer tampering, the offenses occurred between approximately October 1, 2014, and November 2, 2016.  The largest discrepancy in the changed odometer reading was approximately 218,678 miles.  The average discrepancy in the mileage on the odometers for the various vehicles was 122,046 miles.  In the three counts related to Bank Fraud, Greene engaged in a scheme to defraud Redstone Federal Credit Union.  The fraud occurred when the credit union financed three of the vehicles on which the odometers had been changed.  Greene was served with a notice of forfeiture related to the bank fraud counts, which includes but is not limited to a money judgement in the amount of $28,000.

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Odometer fraud and how to avoid it

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.

Original Article: https://www.kbtx.com/content/news/Odometer-fraud-and-how-to-avoid-it-504991461.html

Kennett man pleads guilty to fraud charge

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.

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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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