California consumers may be naturally wary of used car dealers because of the way TV and movies often portray them as dishonest and untrustworthy. Most dealers of previously owned vehicles run honest businesses and strive to win customer loyalty through service and integrity. However, it seems like there are still those car sellers who attempt to take the easy way by using dealer fraud to earn their money.
Customers in another state are now hearing that a car dealer pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy and tampering with the odometers in his inventory of cars so he could inflate the prices. The conspiracy involved purchasing cars with high mileage and low prices from private sellers. During the transaction, the car dealer would allegedly instruct the seller not to complete the portion of the title that includes information about the odometer reading.
With the assistance of another party, the dealer would admittedly alter the odometer to show a lower mileage, then complete the title to show the falsified odometer reading. He was then able to sell the car for a much higher price to buyers who believed the low odometer reading was correct. The dealer apparently admitted that this scheme went on for more than six years.
A judge will determine the length of sentence the man will serve, but it could be up to five years. Meanwhile, those who were scammed may have their own chance to face him if they decide to pursue compensation in civil court. An attorney with experience in dealer fraud and California consumer protection laws will be a great asset to such clients.
Source: wavy.com, "Norfolk man pleads guilty to rolling back odometers to get more money from used cars", Brian Reese, Jan. 26, 2018