A federal grand jury in Philadelphia charged Kyle Novitsky, 45, and Judith Aloe, 52, both of North Miami Beach, Florida with odometer tampering, securities fraud and conspiracy, the Justice Department announced today.
According to the indictment, as early as 2004 and through at least 2010, the defendants devised a scheme to defraud buyers of used motor vehicles by misrepresenting the mileage of about 247 vehicles they sold.
As part of the odometer tampering scheme, the indictment charges that Novitsky and Aloe purchased high-mileage, used motor vehicles in Florida, California and elsewhere from an unnamed national vehicle leasing company. (Buyers should get a free CARFAX Odometer Check and consider the Vehicle History Report to check for odometer discrepancies in the vehicle’s history.)
The defendants are charged with conspiring to alter the odometers in these vehicles to reflect false, lower mileage. The indictment alleges that Novitsky and Aloe then fraudulently altered the motor vehicle titles and sales documentation associated with these vehicles to reflect the false, lower mileage. As a result, the commonwealth of Pennsylvania issued motor vehicle titles with lower mileage that the defendants knew to be untrue.
Novitsky and Aloe subsequently sold the motor vehicles at wholesale automobile auctions in Manheim, Pennsylvania and elsewhere, and provided buyers Pennsylvania titles bearing false mileage.
The odometer tampering indictment alleges that in some instances, the true mileage of the vehicle was greater than 100,000 miles more than what the title indicated. By selling the vehicles with false, lower mileages, the defendants received higher sales prices for the vehicles they sold.
“Mileage information is important for consumers to assess the value and safety of the vehicles they purchase,” said Stuart F. Delery, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division of the Department of Justice.
The Office of Odometer Fraud Investigations that is part of NHTSA since the practice has safety implications has obtained 240 criminal convictions in more than 30 States. Prison sentences ranged from one month to eight years, criminal fines totaled more than $2.8 million, and court-ordered restitutions totaled more than $10 million.