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Friday, 20 May 2022 13:59

2 NJ Men Plead Guilty in PA in Odometer Tampering, Title Fraud Scheme

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Two New Jersey men have pleaded guilty in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania for their roles in falsifying vehicle titles as part of a long-running odometer roll-back scheme.

According to court documents, Felix Granowski, 58, of Matawan, NJ, pleaded guilty May 18 to one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud. Granowski owned a used car dealership based in New Jersey.

 

On May 19, Alec Morgunov, 34, of Manalapan, NJ, also pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud in connection with his work at Granowski’s dealership.

 

As part of their plea agreements, Granowski and Morgunov admitted that between 2012 and 2016, they engaged in a scheme to sell high-mileage, used vehicles with false, low-mileage readings entered on the vehicles’ odometers and titles.

 

According to court filings, the defendants purchased high-mileage vehicles from individuals, arranged to alter the vehicles’ odometers to reflect false, lower mileage readings, and then obtained motor vehicle titles reflecting those false, lower mileages. Granowski and Morgunov then used the fraudulent title documentation and artificially lower odometer readings to sell the vehicles, including at an auction located in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

 

By deceiving purchasers into believing the vehicles had fewer miles than they actually had, defendants sold the vehicles at inflated prices, resulting in consumers paying more for the vehicles than they would have paid had they known the true mileages.

 

“When individuals misrepresent the mileage on used cars, they deceive consumers into paying more money for those cars while also hiding vital information that can impact vehicle safety and repair costs,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Brian M. Boynton, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Division. “We are committed to protecting consumers by...


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