Monday, 15 April 2013

Raleigh man charged in odometer tampering scheme

Raleigh man charged in odometer tampering scheme, In an information made public on April 12, 2013, the USDOJ charged Francis Marimo, 39, of Raleigh, N.C., with two counts of odometer tampering.

The information, filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina on April 10, 2013, alleges that from 2008 through 2012, Marimo fraudulently caused odometers in used motor vehicles to be altered to reflect false, low mileages. According to the Information, Marimo purchased used vehicles primarily through online advertisements, replaced the existing odometers with odometers showing lower mileages, and then sold the vehicles to consumers while representing the low mileages as accurate. One of the vehicles described in the Information was “rolled back” more than 100,000 miles.

Marimo was charged with two counts of odometer fraud, two counts of obtaining property by false pretenses, and one count of acting as a motor vehicle dealer without a license. He was placed in jail under a $3,000 secured bond

“Consumers rely on mileage readings to determine the value and safety of used vehicles,” said Stuart F. Delery, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division. “Victims of odometer fraud lose thousands of dollars on what can turn out to be unreliable and potentially dangerous vehicles. We will continue to prosecute these schemes wherever we find them.”

The North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Office of Odometer Fraud Investigation investigated the case. The case is being prosecuted by the Justice Department’s Consumer Protection Branch.

The NC DMV License and Theft Bureau said that a search warrant was served at the home of Francis Marimo, who had been “under investigation for months.” The agency said it began its investigation when a victim allegedly bought a 2005 Honda Odyssey through Craigslist.

Inspectors seized four Honda odometer clusters, $17,200 in cash, keys to different vehicles, motor vehicle titles, and paper work pertaining to the sale of vehicles.

The charges in the information are only allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.

Sources: USDOJ press release, NOTFEA, The Raleigh Telegram,

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