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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Department of Revenue CIB Agents Assist in Joint Task Force Operation

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.”

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Tip leads investigators to stolen vehicles in suspected chop shop in Independence

Emily Rittman/KCTV5

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.

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Department of Revenue CIB agent assists with breakup of suspected ‘chop shop’ in Independence

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.

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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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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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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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Iowa DOT warning of cars sold with odometers rolled back

A Sioux City car dealer was rolling back odometers on vehicles to show fewer miles and increase the vehicle's value, the Iowa Department of Transportation says.

The DOT says the fraud happened at Siouxland Sales in Sioux City from 2016 to 2018. The DOT says it got a tip in December of last year. An investigation found three victims and 14 vehicles that were tampered with. Authorities served a search warrant on Jan. 17.

 

Siouxland Sales owner Francisco Hurtado was booked in the Woodbury County Jail April 26 on six counts of second-degree fraudulent practice.

Anyone affected should call the Bureau of Investigation and Identity Protection at 515-237-3050 or email invbureau@iowadot.us with vehicle and contact information.

Original Article: http://kcci.com/article/iowa-dot-warning-of-cars-sold-with-odometers-rolled-back/20172284?src=app 

Jackson Man Charged in Large Scale Vehicle Odometer Roll Back Scheme

Department of Justice
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.

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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/