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US v. Farajallah (aka Frank) Younis, Sr., and Farajallah (aka Frankie) Younis, Jr.


NHTSA/Odometer Fraud (CLOSED)

Most Recent Update 2/04 (See end of document)

United States v. Farajallah (aka Frank) Younis, Sr., and Farajallah (aka Frankie) Younis, Jr., Criminal No. 03-CR-124 (D. Ariz.) dba Nations Auto

7/03 Update:

The United States Department of Justice and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Odometer Fraud Task Force recently concluded an investigation in western Texas and Arizona involving the sale of used motor vehicles with altered odometers. 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, in February 2003 a Phoenix grand jury indicted Farajallah (aka Frank) Younis, Sr., and Farajallah (aka Frankie) Younis, Jr. on 29 counts of conspiracy, 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 in Texas and sell them to various Arizona dealerships and residents with misrepresentations as to their true mileages.

Charges contained in the indictment are simply accusations, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charges must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty it is to determine guilt or innocence.

A trial is scheduled for September 2, 2003, in Phoenix before the Hon. Frederick J. Martone in United States District Court. If you believe that you are a victim of odometer fraud, please refer to the following document: Odometer Fraud Civil Remedies for Victims.

Update 8/03:

Trial is no longer scheduled for September 2, 2003; updates will be posted here as information is made available by the Court.

11/03 Update:

No change in status.

2/04 Update:

On January 27, 2004, Farajallah (a.k.a. "Frank") Younis, Sr., and Farajallah (a.k.a. "Frankie") Younis, Jr., both of El Paso, Texas, were sentenced to 30 months' and 18 months' imprisonment, respectively, by a federal district judge in Phoenix, Arizona, for their leading roles in an odometer tampering scheme. The defendants each previously pled guilty to five counts of a 29-count indictment alleging conspiracy (18 U.S.C. 371), interstate transportation of altered securities (18 U.S.C. 2314), and the giving of false odometer statements (49 U.S.C. 32705(a)(2), 32709(b)).

In connection with their pleas, the Younises admitted that at least as early as May 1998, and continuing through at least December 2000, they conspired with others to purchase at least 591 high-mileage, late-model pickup trucks, roll back the odometers on those vehicles to a false low mileage, alter the titles and other paperwork associated with the sale of the vehicles, and sell them with altered odometers. Most of the vehicles involved in the scheme were purchased from automobile auctions and wholesale used car dealers in Texas, then resold with altered odometers to Arizona residents or automobile dealerships. By misrepresenting the mileage of the vehicles to the purchasers, the Younises and their co-conspirators obtained a higher price for the vehicles.

The Younises also were sentenced to 3 years of supervised release each upon completing their prison sentences. Federal law requires a judgment to be entered against each defendant for restitution based on the fraud, regardless of the defendant's ability to pay. Accordingly, the court ordered defendants to pay restitution to victims in the amount of $541,500. The entry of such a judgment does not mean, however, that the defendants have the assets to pay the judgment. The Probation Office in Phoenix is responsible for administering restitution, and has been in contact with the victims of these offenses. The court ordered that the restitution be paid by the two defendants in the combined amount of $1,700 per month.