US v. Mohammed Ghaziaskar


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US
v. Mohammed Ghaziaskar


NHTSA/Odometer Fraud (CLOSED)

Most Recent Update 11/22/05 (See end of document)

United States v. Mohammed Ghaziaskar, Criminal No. 00-CR-369
(D. N.J.)

6/01 Update:

The United States Department of Justice and the National Highway Traffic
Safety Administration (NHTSA) Odometer Fraud Task Force recently concluded
an investigation in the southern New Jersey/ Pennsylvania area involving
the sale of used motor vehicles with altered odometers. The investigation
disclosed that roughly 225 vehicles had been subject to odometer tampering.

The Federal
odometer law
, Title 49, United States Code, sections 32701-32711
(formerly the Motor Vehicle Information and Cost Savings Act, Title
15, United States Code, sections 1981-1991) prohibits disconnecting,
resetting, or altering a motor vehicle's odometer with intent to change
the number of miles on the odometer. The law requires that a written
disclosure of the mileage registered on an odometer be provided by the
seller to the purchaser at the time ownership of a vehicle is transferred.
If the odometer mileage is incorrect, the Act requires a statement to
that effect to be furnished in written form to the buyer.

As a result of the investigation, in June 2000 a Newark grand jury
indicted Mohammed Ghaziaskar on 22 counts of interstate transport of
altered securities and giving false odometer statements. The securities
were certificates of title relating to certain motor vehicles which
contained false information regarding the mileages of the vehicles.
The indictment alleged a plan to purchase used cars with high mileages
using the name of Mountain Man Motors at Pennsylvania auto auctions,
and to obtain new titles with lower mileages through West Virginia.
The cars were then sold, with misrepresentations as to their true mileages,
to retail dealerships in New Jersey.

Mr. Ghaziaskar's trial began on April 17, 2001. On April 25, after
five and one-half days of trial, Mr. Ghaziaskar pled guilty in federal
district court in Newark, New Jersey, to all twenty-two counts of the
Indictment . Mr. Ghaziaskar is due to be sentenced before the Honorable
John C. Lifland in United States District Court on August 9, 2001.

If you believe that you are a victim of odometer fraud, please refer
to the following document: Odometer Fraud
– Civil Remedies for Victims
.

7/01 Update:

The District Court has rescheduled the sentencing of Mohammed Ghaziaskar
from August 9, 2001, to October 1, 2001.

9/01 Update:

The Court has continued the sentencing to October 26, 2001. The sentencing
will take place at 2:00 P.M. at the Martin Luther King Federal Building
and U.S. Courthouse, 50 Walnut Street, Newark, New Jersey.

10/25/01 Update:

The Court has continued the sentencing to November 5, 2001. The sentencing
will take place at 12:30 P.M. at the Martin Luther King Federal Building
and U.S. Courthouse, 50 Walnut Street, Newark, New Jersey.

10/31/01 Update:

The Court has continued the sentencing of Mr. Ghaziaskar. No new date
has yet been set. Anyone interested in attending the sentencing should
continue to check this site. The new date will be posted as soon as
it is available.

11/1/01 Update:

The court has continued the sentencing to November 28, 2001. The sentencing
will take place at 12:30 P.M. at the Martin Luther King Federal Building
and U.S. Courthouse, 50 Walnut Street, Newark, New Jersey. Individuals
who plan to attend the sentencing may wish to check back at this site
or contact the Court Clerk to confirm that there have not been any last
minute changes to the schedule. The Clerk's Office telephone number
is: (973) 645-3730; a map and directions to the courthouse may be found
at http://www.njd.uscourts.gov/.

12/3/01 Update:

Mr. Ghaziaskar's sentencing hearing was held on November 28, 2001,
before Judge Lifland. He received a term of 24 months' imprisonment
followed by 3 years of supervised release. In addition, he has been
ordered to pay $153,924.94 in restitution to those specific individuals
who, and businesses which, reported their losses to the U.S. Department
of Probation in New Jersey. The defendant was ordered to pay restitution
over the course of five years once he is released from prison. No fine
was imposed due to the defendant's inability to pay.

3/02 Update:

No change in status.

6/02 Update:

No change in status.

10/02 Update:

No change in status.

7/05 Update:

The defendant completed his sentence on October 6, 2003, at which time he was taken into custody by United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement, where he remains today while facing deportation.

Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2255, the defendant filed a motion on April 21, 2005, and an amended motion on May 8, 2005, challenging his conviction. As grounds for his challenge, he claims his guilty plea was unwilling and involuntary because his attorney provided ineffective assistance, chiefly by failing to adequately advise him of the deportation consequences of his guilty plea.

The Government filed its response to the defendant's § 2255 motion on June 30, 2005. A hearing has been set for August 2, 2005, at 10:00 A.M., before Judge Lifland, at the Martin Luther King Jr., Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse, 50 Walnut Street, Newark, NJ.

8/22/05 Update:

On August 2, 2005, a hearing was held before Judge Lifland on the merits of Mr. Ghaziaskar's § 2255 motion. Judge Lifland subsequently determined that there was no ineffective assistance of counsel and denied the defendant's § 2255 motion on August 5, 2005. Furthermore, he refused to issue a certificate of appealabilty.

11/22/05 Update:

On November 15, 2005, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals denied Ghaziaskar’s request for a certificate of appealability.