LOS ANGELES (CNS) – A Woodland Hills car salesman and another man pleaded guilty today to rolling back vehicle odometers in a scheme in which people paid up to $400 to avoid penalties for exceeding mileage limits on leases or to increase auto trade-in values.
Jeffrey Levy, 62, a former salesman at Galpin Ford in North Hills, and Shamai Salpeter, 65, face up to three years in prison and as much as $1 million each in fines at sentencing Feb. 9, according to the Department of Justice.
Both men pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit odometer tampering.
While working at the dealership, Levy referred customers, including friends, to Salpeter, federal prosecutors said. Salpeter charged $100 to $400 to roll back the odometer readings, which he did using electronic tools in the driveway of his Woodland Hills home.
Levy then accepted the vehicles for lease returns or trade-ins without alerting the dealership,”thus defrauding future owners of the vehicles,” according to the DOJ.
Galpin Ford cooperated in the investigation, prosecutors said “Victims of odometer fraud lose thousands of dollars on what can turn out to be unreliable and potentially dangerous vehicles,” said Acting Associate Attorney General Stuart F. Delery for the DOJ’s civil division.
Salpeter was the subject of a 2012 hidden-camera investigation of odometer fraud by CBS2.