Francis Marimo was sentenced today in connection with an odometer tampering scheme, the Justice Department announced. Marimo was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Louise Wood Flanagan in New Bern, N.C., to serve 18 months in prison and one year of supervised release. Marimo also was ordered to pay $190,845 in restitution.
“Used car shoppers rely on mileage readings to judge both the value and safety of vehicles they might purchase,” said Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Civil Division Stuart F. Delery. “Tampering with a vehicle’s odometer in order to swindle a would-be buyer is a federal crime that will be prosecuted.”
In June, Marimo pleaded guilty to two counts of odometer tampering. According to the Information filed in the case, from 2008 through 2012, Marimo purchased used vehicles primarily through online advertisements, then replaced the existing odometers with odometers showing lower mileages. Marimo sold these vehicles to consumers in the Raleigh, N.C., area while representing the low mileages on the replacement odometers as accurate. Mileage for one of the vehicles described in the Information was “rolled back” more than 100,000 miles. As part of a plea agreement, Marimo agreed that his conduct had caused between $120,000 and $200,000 in losses to consumers.
“The importance of accurate mileage readings on used car odometers cannot be overstated,” said U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina Thomas G. Walker. “This case demonstrates our determination to protect the consumer from this type of fraud.”
The North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Office of Odometer Fraud Investigation investigated this case. The case was prosecuted by the Justice Department’s Civil Division, Consumer Protection Branch.
More information on odometer fraud is available at www.nhtsa.gov/Odometer-Fraud .