Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Used Car Dealer Sentenced to Prisonfor Odometer Tampering Fraud Scheme
Beau Michael Guidry of Baton Rouge, La., was sentenced today in connection with an odometer tampering scheme that defrauded victims in and around Louisiana, the Justice Department announced. U.S. District Judge for the Middle District of Louisiana James J. Brady sentenced Guidry to a term of 20 months in prison and a term of one year of supervised release during which he cannot be involved in the sale of motor vehicles. In addition, the court ordered Guidry to pay $72,805.51 in restitution to the victims of his crimes.
Guidry purchased high-mileage motor vehicles via eBay and wholesale automobile auctions in Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. The vehicles’ odometers were then rolled back as much as 147,000 miles and resold via Guidry’s used vehicle company, Affordable Imports in Denham Springs, La., or through eBay to unsuspecting purchasers. Guidry exclusively rolled back vehicles that were more than 10 years old when he sold them.
Because of the age of the cars, Guidry was not required to sign a disclosure certifying the mileage on those 10-year old vehicles as accurate. However, each time he altered an odometer with intent to change the mileage on the odometer, he violated federal law.
“Odometer tampering preys mostly on those in society who can least afford to be defrauded,” said Stuart F. Delery, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division. “In these tough economic times, we will take strong action against anyone who defrauds consumers and jeopardizes the safety of our roads and highways.”
Special Agent Wendell Espeland of 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.