On May 6th, 2021

Three San Jose Residents Charged in Automobile Resale Scheme Defendants allegedly rolled back odometers on vehicles before reselling them at a significant profit on craigslist

California Department of Motor Vehicles Investigations Division in Vallejo assisted in investigation

SAN FRANCISCO – On May 5, 2021, a criminal complaint was unsealed in federal court charging Seymur Khalilov, Ramil Heydarov, and Orkhan Aliyev with conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

According to the complaint, between 2016 and the present, Khalilov, 32; Heydarov, 31; and Aliyev, 31, all of San Jose, conspired to purchase high-mileage vehicles, roll back the odometers, and falsify documentation to make the vehicles appear newer.  The co-conspirators then allegedly sold the vehicles on Craigslist at significant profits.  The complaint alleges defendants fraudulently sold at least a dozen vehicles in this way for a total of at least $300,000.  In addition, the complaint states that the number of cars and amount of money at issue will likely change as the ongoing investigation into the scope and extent of the scheme continues.

“Rolling back odometers on vehicles and falsifying documents puts the buyers of these vehicles and their families at risk,” said California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) President Alan Barcelona.  “Not only does this harm a buyer financially, but possibly puts their personal safety at risk.”

The complaint describes the multiple steps allegedly taken by the coconspirators to defraud purchasers of the cars.  For example, the complaint describes how defendants purchased high-mileage or old-model vehicles and then, with the assistance of other co-conspirators, rolled back the odometers of the vehicles.  Further, the defendants altered documentation related to the vehicles, including titles and registrations, to reflect the lower mileage amount and other fraudulent information.  The complaint alleges the fraudulent alterations were made with the goal of increasing the prospective sale price of the vehicles.  In addition, when selling the vehicles, the defendants portrayed themselves as the prior owners of the vehicles, including by altering California identification cards, so that the defendants’ true names would not appear in the vehicles’ transaction history.

Each defendant is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1349.  The conspiracy charge carries a maximum statutory penalty of up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

The prosecution is the result of an investigation by Homeland Security Investigations and the Federal Bureau of Investigation with assistance from the California Department of Motor Vehicles Investigations Division in Vallejo, the San Ramon Police Department, and the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration Office of Odometer Fraud Investigations.

 

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