Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Rollback Odometers? Do Not Pass Go.

The Justice Department issued the following statement.

Mark Longgrear, 54, of Jackson, was sentenced today to 57 months in prison, and his son, Zachary Longgrear, 29, of Madison, was sentenced to 28 months in prison by United States District Judge Carlton W. Reeves for conspiring to reset and alter the odometers of motor vehicles, to giving or causing to be given false statements relating to odometers, and securities fraud, announced U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst and Special Agent-in-Charge Midwest Region, Kevin L. Porter with the U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The Longgrears were also ordered to pay restitution, jointly and severally, in the amount of $1.5 million.

From 2014 through at least February 2018, Mark Longgrear, along with his son, Zachary Longgrear, both individually and under their company Southern Auto Buyers LLC, bought a large number of late model, high mileage vehicles from numerous sources, and thereafter illegally altered the odometers of these vehicles to show lower mileage. The Defendants forged and fraudulently created paperwork to secure new titles showing 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 the Mississippi area and elsewhere. Over 200 vehicles have been confirmed with rolled-back odometers.

The case is the result of an investigation by the United States Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Office of Odometer Fraud Investigation, with assistance from the United States Postal Inspection Service, and the U.S. Marshals Service. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Keesha Middleton.

Odometer fraud is the disconnection, resetting, or alteration of a vehicle’s odometer with the intent to change the number of miles indicated. NHTSA estimates that more than 450,000 vehicles are sold each year with false odometer readings. It costs American consumers more than $1 billion annually.

NHTSA has established a special hotline to handle odometer fraud complaints. Individuals who have information relating to odometer tampering should call (202) 366-4761.


Anonymous said...

Not much time for the crime.

Louis LeFleur said...

This is still done in this day and age? This was easily done with mechanical odometers, but I'd think it more difficult with the digital ones that I assume are on the vast majority of cars these days. Then again, maybe these guys were buying old models for that very reason. So anyway, does anyone know what would be involved in turning back a digital odometer? Asking for a friend.

Anonymous said...

This is kind of an outdated crime, but your mileage may vary.

Anonymous said...

Attn 9:57 If you don't think 4 years and 10 months in jail is a long time, maybe you ought to get into that business.

Anonymous said...

Dem longgrears is gonna be useful in prison.

1994 With Fifty Thousand Original Miles.. said...

This was common practice for generations. I remember one particular shop/service station on Highway 82 in Greenville...You could pull up, tell him how many miles you wanted 'rolled off' and he would tell you to come back in thirty or forty minutes. Ten thousand, twenty five thousand, fifty thousand. The cost was twenty five bucks.

Of course this was before the invention of the digital odometers. Not sure how they might roll those back. All it took 'back then' was a tool, sort of like a dental instrument, with a crooked wire that would center on the digit wheels and prick them backwards, a thousand at a time.

This has been typical in the auction industry for as long as auctions have existed. I doubt there is a used car dealer in America who has NOT employed this "business tool". And many new car dealers as well, who sell used vehicles.

Kingfish said...

There were more than a couple of dealers downtown back in the day who got the odometers on their cars rolled back on a regular basis.

Anonymous said...

Meanwhile this morning I received my 25th million call about my car's extended warranty. Those people should be in prison with a 99 year sentence for telephone harassment. Then again, may be justice would be better served if I just took them up on their offer. My cars are an 05 and an 07.

Anonymous said...

KF @ 9:16 - I would hazard a guess that it was EVERY dealership 'downtown' including the one with the Corvette high in the air. And including the ones who have since moved out to the interstate or to Brandon.

Have I Got A Deal For You - Today Only said...

@ 7:53 - Older models does not seem to be the case, as you suggest.

"...and under their company Southern Auto Buyers LLC, bought a large number of late model, high mileage vehicles from numerous sources, and thereafter illegally altered the odometers..."

But, I, Like you, am not sure they (or anybody else in these parts) had enough sense to know how to 'roll back' a digital instrument.

Unknown said...

As a victim of this crime, I do not think the son got nearly enough time. They cost me thousands of dollars!

Kingfish said...

9:28: That is a very interesting comment. Very interesting. Intriguing even. Yup. Very interesting.

Anonymous said...

This is only a fraction of the dirty deals Mark Longgrear has done. This is LONG over due.

Hermit King said...

Modifying digital odometer readings are the easiest. There's at least 100 YouTube videos that show how to do it. Imagine having 250k miles on a 2015 Tacoma, rolling it back to 70k, and selling it for $19k

It's almost like being a Wall Street Stock Broker.


Anonymous said...

In digital odometers it is a common practice called "Digital Odometer Correction" and it is really very simple.

They get corrected A LOT

Anonymous said...

@11:07 is correct. If Mark Longgrear went to prison for every dirty deal he has done, he would be getting about 6000 years in prison. He can't make money in a clean and reputable fashion. He always has to try and screw somebody.

Anonymous said...

Shame on you, classmate posting at 8:20 AM.
I too know Mark from our CA days, and he has NOT been a con-artist his whole life. I do hate whatever caused him to think he had to take this route. You truly don't care for his family and have no business mentioning their names.

coffee and cornbread said...

to 3:28 pm,
I,too< grew up in Canton and knew Ducky and Mark. Mark was nothing like his dad. Ducky turned wrenches on cars for many, many people and did an honest job. Mark, well Mark took a different path. He has always operated in a shady manner and it's sad to see him pass that on to his son.

Mark was dishonest. Sorry you cannot face that fact.

Anonymous said...

New dealers back in the day would disengage the odometer/speedometer until it was put on the lot to be sold. So when the owner's wife would be rolling in a new car every 6 months.....no miles to show for it. I remember someone who got pulled over for speeding, told the trooper "sorry officer, but my speedometer is not hooked up..." and got off without a ticket. There's a reason laws were passed.

Anonymous said...

If Zac were held responsible for all the crap he’s done he’d be facing more time than dad. Most selfish two peas in a pod I’ve ever known.

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