News and Press Releases

carrollton man sentenced in scheme to sell salvaged vehicles
with altered VINs

June 28, 2012

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - David M. Ketchmark, Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Carrollton, Mo., man was sentenced in federal court today for concealing the alteration of Vehicle Identification Numbers (VINs) by an auto repair business. Today’s sentencing marks the culmination of a federal investigation into a $245,000 conspiracy to sell salvaged vehicles with altered VINs.

Anthony J. Riley, 31, of Carrollton, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Gary A. Fenner to two years of supervised release.

On Jan. 5, 2012, Riley pleaded guilty to misprision of a felony. Riley admitted that he was aware a Carrollton auto repair business was committing felony federal offenses by removing VINs from damaged auto component parts and placing the VINs on parts that had not been properly inspected.

Riley is the fourth and final defendant to be sentenced after pleading guilty in relation to the VIN scheme.  Dusty Berry, 28, formerly of Carrollton, also pleaded guilty to misprision of a felony and received a three year probationary sentences and was ordered to pay over $10,000 in restitution.  Michael H. Carter, 26, and Darrin L. Potter, 35, both of Carrollton, pleaded guilty to the felony crime of altering motor vehicle identification numbers.  Carter received a four year probationary sentence with 8 days incarceration and will forfeiture of his 2007 GMC Sierra truck.  Potter received a four year probationary sentence with 30 days incarceration and was ordered to pay over $7,000.  

Potter and Carter each owned automobile repair businesses in Carrollton. Potter owned Potter Construction at 204 S. Main, and Carter owned Midwest Customs at 706 S. Main. Riley was employed by Carter at Midwest Customs. Berry, a former Missouri State Highway Patrol officer, was employed at another Carrollton automobile repair business, Potter’s Collision at 1201 S. Main.

Darrin Potter, Carter, Riley, Berry and Brice Potter participated in a conspiracy from January 2006 to April 22, 2010 to purchase salvaged vehicles, rebuild them with parts with altered VINs, and sell them. They removed or altered the VIN plates and stickers from the damaged parts and reattached them onto the new parts. Conspirators evaded disclosing to the Missouri Department of Revenue that major component parts had been replaced and thereby avoided vehicle inspections. They were able to obtain Missouri vehicle titles that did not reflect the salvaged or reconstructed history of the vehicles. Under federal law, it is illegal to remove or alter a vehicle identification number, and to sell a vehicle with an altered identification number.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Roseann A. Ketchmark. It was investigated by the FBI and the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

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