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Two area men indicted for falsifying documents for vehicle owners

March 2, 2012

St. Louis, MO - The United States Attorney’s Office announced the indictment of Michael Terry and Sedrix Blumingburg for allegedly falsifying documentation for vehicle owners regarding titling of vehicles, auto emissions tests and sales taxes, during their employment at Sure Start Battery & Tire Company on St. Charles Rock Road, St. Louis.

According to the indictment, the legitimate business of Sure Start was general vehicle repair, including safety and auto emissions testing. The indictment alleges that Terry and Blumingburg conducted false safety and auto emissions tests and provided false safety documentation to vehicle owners for compensation to bypass the Missouri state laws associated with vehicle safety and EPA regulations. Additionally, the indictment states that Terry and Blumingburg created false documents showing vehicle insurance; false bill of sale documents on motor vehicles reducing the actual sales price to lower the amount of state sales tax due; and paid personal property tax receipts for vehicle owners to register their vehicles, all of which they personally delivered to the Missouri Department of Revenue office on South Kingshighway, St. Louis. Terry and Blumingburg received illegal payments from the vehicle owners for these services. These documents were processed by fee/contract clerks as true and correct and sent to the Missouri Department of Revenue, depriving Missouri of fees and taxes.

MICHAEL L. TERRY, St. Louis, Missouri; and SEDRIX M. BLUMINGBURG, Jennings, Missouri, were each indicted by a federal grand jury on three felony counts of mail fraud.

If convicted, each count of mail fraud carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and/or fines up to $1 million. In determining the actual sentences, a Judge is required to consider the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide recommended sentencing ranges.

This case was investigated by the Environmental Protection Agency, the Missouri Department of Revenue, Missouri Highway Patrol, Missouri Department of Natural Resources, Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation and the St. Louis County Police Department. First Assistant United States Attorney Michael W. Reap is handling the case for the U.S. Attorney's Office.

As is always the case, charges set forth in an indictment are merely accusations and do not constitute proof of guilt. Every defendant is presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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