Michigan’s Secretary of State has suspended the license of a used-car dealer’s repair facility.

Secretary of State staff conducted a routine inspection at the repair facility for Cars R Us in Flint, which is owned by James Hall. The inspection found the facility to be out of compliance.

The business allegedly failed to maintain records in accordance with the law, failed to provide a customer with a proper invoice, failed to inform a customer of the right to return replaced parts and violated mechanic certification requirements.

Cars R Us then failed to appear for two scheduled conferences with department staff.

The father-and-son owners of a Mississippi used-car dealership pled guilty in what the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is calling “a large-scale vehicle odometer rollback scheme.”

Mark Longgrear and his son, Zachary Longgrear, admitted to conspiring to reset and alter the odometers of motor vehicles and to giving or causing to be given false statements relating to odometers.  Mark Longgrear also pled guilty to six counts of securities fraud.

From 2014 through at least February 2018, the Longgrears, both individually and under their company, Southern Auto Buyers LLC, bought a large number of late-model, high-mileage vehicles from numerous sources. They then illegally altered the odometers of these vehicles to show lower mileage.

The pair also forged and fraudulently created paperwork to secure new titles showing the false lower mileage on these vehicles, and then sold the vehicles directly to individuals and automobile dealerships at much higher prices.  Some of these rolled-back vehicles were subsequently sold by the dealerships to consumers in Mississippi and elsewhere.

Sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 12. 

The count of conspiracy carries a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss, whichever is greater.  Each securities fraud violation carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and $250,000 fine or twice the gross gain or loss, whichever is greater. 

Restitution may also be ordered.

Equifax Inc. announced the launch of its FraudIQ Synthetic ID Alerts, developed to protect against synthetic identity (ID) fraud while minimizing false positives.

FraudIQ Synthetic ID Alerts, delivered in batch or real-time, are based on patent-pending algorithms that analyze attributes such as authorized user behaviors and identity discrepancies to help determine if the identity presented is potentially synthetic.

Synthetic ID fraud occurs when new fake identities are created using different components of real identities, such as a name from one person, an address from another and the Social Security Number from someone else. After the identity is created, fraudsters open new accounts, gain credit, and abandon the accounts.

Police say that found two-dozen clocked vehicles when they inspected a Florida used-car dealership.

The Lee County Sheriff's Office Auto Theft and Economic Crimes Units conducted a joint dealership inspection with the Florida Department of Safety in Fort Myers.

Detectives conducted the inspection to ensure the business was maintaining appropriate vehicle records and not defrauding customers by falsifying vehicle odometer readings or Vehicle Identification Numbers (VIN).  During the inspection, detective located 24 vehicles with altered odometers. 

Records indicated 22 of the vehicle's odometers were altered while owned and maintained by PG Auto Sales.  Investigators determined the odometers were rolled back an average of 50,000 to 80,000 miles.

Investigators made contact with Miguel Preciado-Valadez, who identified himself as the president and manager of the business.  During the course of the investigation, detectives learned that Valadez utilized a third party to alter odometer readings in order to move inventory at a faster pace. 

Preciado-Valadez was subsequently arrested and charged with 22 counts of odometer fraud. Twenty-four altered vehicles were seized and towed to the Lee County Sheriff's Office evidence facility.

A Kansas used-car dealer has entered into a consent judgment with the local district attorney based on allegations he failed to disclose safety recalls and attempted to disclaim implied warranties.

The agreement between Thomas Bland, owner of Quality Automotive Group LLC, and the Sedgwick County District Attorney’s Office calls for him to pay $16,035.68 in civil penalties, restitution, court costs, and fees. The agreement also requires Bland to check all his vehicles for recalls, fully disclose any recalls before selling the cars to consumers and provide proper written Buyers Guides as required by law.

The District Attorney’s Consumer Protection Division alleged Bland failed to disclose three safety recalls and was distributing an improper Buyers Guide.
Bland admitted the allegations.

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