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US v. Robert Jardin, et al.


NHTSA/Odometer Fraud (CLOSED)

Most Recent Update: 3/05 (See end of document)

United States v. Robert Jardin, Bruce Jardine, and Dennis Jardine, Crim. No. 04-219 (E.D. Pennsylvania); United States v. Dean Jardine, Crim. No. 04-080 (E.D. Pennsylvania)

Update 12/04:

Earlier this year, the United States Department of Justice and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Odometer Fraud Task Force concluded an investigation in New Jersey, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania involving the sale of used motor vehicles with altered odometers. The investigation originated in Connecticut, when inspectors with the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles, acting on information received from the Southington Police Department, developed evidence of a large-scale odometer rollback scheme. The investigation disclosed that numerous 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, on September 9, 2004, a Philadelphia grand jury indicted Bruce Jardine, Robert Jardine, and Dennis Jardine, all of New Jersey, on various counts related to the odometer fraud scheme. The indictment alleged that the brothers purchased high miles vehicles, rolled back the odometers, and sold them at Manheim Auto Auction in Manheim, Pennsylvania under the names Bridgewater Rental & Leasing and Whitehouse Rental & Leasing.

On December 6, 2004, the three brothers pled guilty to several counts of the Indictment before Judge Schiller in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. The brothers admitted that they had sold rolled-back vehicles at the auction while representing that the false mileage readings were true. A fourth Jardine brother involved in the scheme, Dean Jardine, had previously pled guilty before Judge Surrick.

The court set a March 11, 2005 sentencing date for Bruce, Robert, and Dennis Jardine. Sentencing for Dean Jardine has not yet been scheduled.

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

Update 1/3/05:

Sentencing for Dean Jardine (United States v. Dean Jardine, Crim. No. 04-080) has been set for 2 p.m. on January 25, 2005. The sentencing will be before Judge R. Barclay Surrick at the United States Courthouse, 601 Market Street, Philadelphia.

Update 1/26/05:

On January 25, 2005, the Court sentenced Dean Jardine to 4 months' imprisonment and an additional 6 months' home confinement. Jardine also was ordered to pay $60,000 in victim restitution at a rate of $300 per month.

Update 3/11/05:

On March 11, 2005, the Court sentenced Bruce, Robert, and Dennis Jardine. Bruce Jardine was sentenced to 18 months' imprisonment and 3 years of supervised release. He also was ordered to pay $608,000 in victim restitution and a $36,000 fine, at a total rate of $500 per month. Robert Jardine was sentenced to 19 months in prison and 3 years of supervised release. He was ordered to pay $280,000 in restitution and a $28,000 fine, also at a rate of $500 per month. Dennis Jardine was sentenced to 12 months' imprisonment and 3 years of supervised release. He was ordered to pay $156,000 restitution at $500 per month. Each of the defendants must also perform 100 hours of community service.

Under federal law, restitution is ordered without regard to the defendant's ability to pay such restitution. While the court ordered that a lump sum be paid in the near future, the court also imposed the schedule described above, with payments to begin after the defendant in question serves his time in prison. The probation office of the court will be administering the restitution order.