A federal grand jury in Philadelphia unsealed an indictment yesterday charging Kyle Novitsky, 45, and Judith Aloe, 52, both of North Miami Beach, Fla., with making false odometer statements, securities fraud and conspiracy to commit these offenses, the Justice Department announced today. According to the indictment, as early as 2004, and through at least 2010, the defendants devised a scheme to defraud buyers of used motor vehicles by misrepresenting the mileage of approximately 247 vehicles they sold.
As part of the scheme, the indictment charges that Novitsky and Aloe purchased high-mileage, used motor vehicles in Florida, California and elsewhere from a national vehicle leasing company. The defendants are charged with conspiring to alter the odometers in these vehicles to reflect false, lower mileage. The indictment alleges that Novitsky and Aloe then fraudulently altered the motor vehicle titles and sales documentation associated with these vehicles to reflect the false, lower mileage. As a result, the commonwealth of Pennsylvania issued motor vehicle titles reflecting this false, low er mileage, which the defendants knew to be untrue.
Novitsky and Aloe subsequently sold the motor vehicles at wholesale automobile auctions in Manheim, Pa., and elsewhere, and provided to the buyers Pennsylvania titles bearing the lower false mileage. The indictment alleges that in some instances, the true mileage of the vehicle was greater than 100,000 miles more than what the title indicated, and as a result of selling the vehicles with false, lower mileages, the defendants received higher sales prices for the vehicles they sold.
“Mileage information is important for consumers to assess the value and safety of the vehicles they purchase,” said Stuart F. Delery, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division of the Department of Justice. “Automobile purchases are one of the biggest investments consumers make, and false odometer statements can cause the buyers of these vehicles to lose thousands of dollars of their hard-earned money. In these difficult economic times, we take seriously our obligation to prosecute those who engage in this serious form of fraud.”
The charges in the indictment are only allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Delery thanked the Office of Odometer Fraud Investigation at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation, for their assistance in investigating and prosecuting this case .