Owner of Powhatan auto electronics repair shop pleads guilty in federal odometer tampering case

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.

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State investigating odometer fraud complaint against business owned by Lee County deputy

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.

Original Article: https://www.fox4now.com/news/local-news/state-investigating-odometer-fraud-complaint-against-business-owned-by-lee-county-deputy

Digital rollbacks: Millions of cars have false mileage on odometers

(InvestigateTV) - There’s a hidden danger on the roads – one that’s illegal and potentially putting families at risk: rolled-back odometers.

Experts say vehicle odometers are easier than ever to roll back.

“Our research shows there are now 1.6 million cars that are on roads across the country that have an odometer rolled back, and that’s costing consumers millions of dollars,” said Chris Basso, who works with Carfax, a company that provides vehicle history reports.

In a demonstration with Carfax, an odometer on a 2006 Chevy Silverado with 230,323 miles was tampered with in less than 30 seconds. A technician with an inexpensive electronic device was able to erase nearly 100,000 miles of wear, tear and history, leaving the Silverado with 130,483 miles.

Watch the video below to see a demonstration of an odometer rollback and hear how that affects the value of a vehicle.

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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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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

Father and son arrested for fraud.

Father and son arrested on fraud in Crawford County after altering odometer readings and re-selling vehicles.

Original Article: https://www.4029tv.com/article/father-and-son-arrested-for-fraud/25245078

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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Norfolk man pleads guilty to rolling back odometers on at least 50 used cars, reselling for profit

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.

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‘Rolling back’ suspect accused of tampering with hundreds of vehicles

A Grand Prairie man is accused of rolling back odometers to hundreds of vehicles in Texas. Star-Telegram - Courtesy