Man accused of dealer fraud for tampering with odometers

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Many California consumers enter the used car buying process with the assumption that their dealer will treat them dishonestly. Accepting that there is no way to avoid dealer fraud is a sad statement on the image of car sellers. While many car dealers pride themselves on their high standards and ethical practices, the ones who mislead and take advantage of vulnerable customers continue to make it necessary for some consumers to seek legal assistance.

In another state, a used car dealer is facing criminal charges following an investigation into his car-selling practices. The department of transportation in that state launched an undercover investigation into the dealership and discovered evidence of alleged impropriety. At least three customers purchased vehicles that contained odometers that had reportedly been tampered with. Officials seized 14 other vehicles with altered odometers from the lot, and they suspect there are more victims of this fraud.

Experts say it is relatively easy to tamper with an odometer, and it can be done in a short amount of time. This may include reversing the numbers or replacing the odometer with one that has lower mileage. A lower odometer reading allows a dealer to charge more for a vehicle that may actually have a very low value.

The dealer in this case was arrested and charged with six Class D fraud felonies. Investigators say there may be further charges against the man. Officers continue to receive calls from consumers who purchased vehicles from the dealership. Like these customers, those in California who believe they are victims of dealer fraud have every right to seek legal counsel about their options.

Source:, "More complaints issued in auto dealer odometer fraud case", Woody Gottburg, May 8, 2018

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