Beau Michael Guidry of Baton Rouge, La., pleaded guilty today in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana to three counts of odometer tampering.
Guidry, owner of Affordable Imports in Denham Springs, La., purchased high-mileage motor vehicles both online, through eBay, as well as from wholesale automobile auctions in Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. The vehicles’ odometers were then rolled back as much as 147,000 miles. Guidry subsequently resold the vehicles at his lot in Denham Springs or through eBay to unsuspecting purchasers.
Many vehicles were more than 10 years old when Guidry sold them. Because of the age of the cars, Guidry was not required to sign a disclosure certifying as accurate the mileage on the vehicles that were more than 10 years old. However, each time he altered an odometer with intent to change the mileage on the odometer, he violated federal law.
“Just because a car dealer does not have to certify the mileage on cars he sells, that does not give him a license to roll back odometers,” said Stuart F. Delery, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division. “It is equally fraudulent to roll back a so-called ‘exempt’ vehicle as rolling back a non-exempt vehicle. With cars remaining in service longer, people rely on vehicles older than 10 years for basic transportation. These citizens are not fair game for crooked car dealers.”
“The odometer tampering statutes were put in place to protect consumers who pay more for used cars, and suffer other financial and potential mechanical harm when odometers on cars are rolled back,” said U.S. Attorney Donald J. Cazayoux, Jr. of the Middle District of Louisiana. “The Department of Justice is committed to putting in prison those who steal from consumers and put them in danger by selling cars with rolled back odometers.”
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Office of Odometer Fraud
Investigation (NHTSA) investigated this case. The case was prosecuted by Justice Department trial attorney David Sullivan of the Civil Division’s Consumer Protection Branch.
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