New York Man Sentenced to 24 Months in Prison for Odometer Fraud Scheme
A Massapequa, New York, man was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Allentown, Pennsylvania, to serve 24 months in prison on charges related to an odometer tampering scheme, the Department of Justice announced today.
Edward Capicchioni, 54, was also ordered to pay $412,880 in restitution to victims who purchased vehicles without knowing the odometers were incorrect. In March 2014, Capicchioni pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to tamper with odometers.
Doing business under the company name of The General’s Auto Sales, Capicchioni sold more than 50 vehicles with rolled back odometers. According to the charges, Capicchioni purchased high-mileage cars, sport-utility vehicles and trucks from individual sellers in Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and other states. Capicchioni then worked with a co-conspirator to roll back and alter the odometers and resold the vehicles at a wholesale auto auction in Pennsylvania. Capicchioni also took steps to hide his odometer fraud scheme. He checked the Carfax public database to see if it included a mileage that was higher than the tampered mileage. If the Carfax mileage was higher, Capicchioni submitted fraudulent documentation in the name of the vehicle’s prior owner in order to have the higher mileage reading removed from the database.
“Odometer tampering is a pervasive consumer fraud,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Joyce R. Branda for the Department of Justice’s Civil Division. “We will continue to enforce these important consumer protection laws, and we will prosecute people who defraud vehicle purchasers by rolling back odometers on used cars.”
After Carfax discovered Capicchioni’s fraud scheme through an internal investigation, Carfax personnel alerted the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Office of Odometer Fraud Investigation. NHTSA conducted additional investigation into the full scope of Capicchioni’s criminal activities.
This case was prosecuted by Trial Attorney John W. Burke of the Civil Division’s Consumer Protection Branch.
NHTSA estimates that odometer fraud in the U.S. results in consumer losses of more than $1 billion annually and has established a special hotline to handle odometer fraud complaints. Individuals having information relating to odometer tampering should call (800) 424-9393 or (202) 366-4761.