Madison Man Charged in Large Scale Vehicle Odometer Roll Back Scheme
Jackson, Miss. - Zachary Longgrear, 29, of Madison, Mississippi, appeared in court yesterday before U.S. Magistrate Judge F. Keith Ball for an initial appearance on a federal criminal complaint charging him with providing false odometer disclosure statements and conspiracy in an odometer roll back scheme of multiple high mileage vehicles, announced U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst and Supervisory Special Agent David W. Sparks with the U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
According to the criminal complaint and affidavit, for at least the last four years, Zachary Longgrear, along with his father, Mark Longgrear, operating individually and through their company Southern Auto Buyers LLC, bought more than 50 late model, high mileage vehicles from auctions, dealerships, and/or individuals, thereafter illegally altered the odometers of such vehicles to show lower mileage, forged and fraudulently created paperwork to secure new titles showing false lower mileage for these vehicles, and then sold said vehicles directly to individuals and automobile dealerships at much higher prices. Some of the vehicles were sold via internet websites directly to consumers. Other vehicles were sold through employment and wholesale relationships with large Mississippi automobile dealerships in Jackson and Vicksburg, who in turn unknowingly sold them to consumers with this false information.
Violations of Section 32705(a)(2) of Title 49 each carry a penalty of three years in prison and/or a $250,000 fine. The conspiracy charge, 18 U.S.C. § 371, is punishable by 5 years in prison and/or a $250,000 fine.
The case was investigated by United States Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Office of Odometer Fraud Investigation, with assistance from the United States Postal Inspection Service, and the U.S. Marshals Service. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Keesha Middleton.
The public is reminded that a criminal complaint is a formal charge against a defendant. It is merely an accusation and each defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.