In an information made public today, the United States charged Francis Marimo, of Raleigh, N.C., with two counts of odometer tampering.
The information, filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina on April 10, 2013, alleges that from 2008 through 2012, Marimo fraudulently caused odometers in used motor vehicles to be altered to reflect false, low mileages. According to the Information, Marimo purchased used vehicles primarily through online advertisements, replaced the existing odometers with odometers showing lower mileages, and then sold the vehicles to consumers while representing the low mileages as accurate. One of the vehicles described in the Information was “rolled back” more than 100,000 miles.
“Consumers rely on mileage readings to determine the value and safety of used vehicles,” said Stuart F. Delery, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division. “Victims of odometer fraud lose thousands of dollars on what can turn out to be unreliable and potentially dangerous vehicles. We will continue to prosecute these schemes wherever we find them.”
The North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Office of Odometer Fraud Investigation investigated this case. The case is being prosecuted by the Justice Department’s Consumer Protection Branch.
The charges in the information are only allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.