Three Sentenced to Prison in Fraudulent Automobile Resale SchemeCalifornia Department of Motor Vehicles Investigations Division in Vallejo assisted with this investigation
“Rolling back odometers in order to sell a vehicle at a higher price is not a victimless crime. Buyers are unaware of the actual mileage and the wear on vehicle parts which could harm them financially down the road. This is a crime that California DMV investigators take seriously, as do other law enforcement agencies and their criminal justice partners.” – CSLEA President Alan Barcelona
SAN FRANCISCO – On February 7, 2022, Seymur Khalilov, Ramil Heydarov, and Orkhan Aliyev were sentenced to 24 months, 20 months, and 20 months in custody, respectively, for their roles in a conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
The defendants pleaded guilty to the charge in October 2021. According to the plea agreements, between 2016 and May 2021, Khalilov, 32; Heydarov, 31; and Aliyev, 32, 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 defendants admitted they fraudulently sold at least 78 vehicles in this way for a total of at least $550,000.
Judge Illston sentenced the defendants as follows:
|Defendant||Prison Term||Restitution/Forfeiture||Supervised Release|
|Khalilov||24 months||To Be Determined||3 years|
|Heydarov||20 months||$379,325 forfeiture||3 years|
|Aliyev||20 months||$196,578 forfeiture||3 years|
Victims of the scheme have one year from the date of judgment to come forward to seek restitution; any forfeited monies remaining after that period will be forfeited to the United States.
According to the defendants’ plea agreements, from at least October 2017 through December 2020, Khalilov, Heydarov, and Aliyev conspired to purchase high-mileage vehicles, roll back the odometers, and falsify documentation to make the vehicles appear newer. Specifically, the co-conspirators altered the odometers of numerous vehicles and altered registrations and titles, among other items, to fraudulently decrease the mileage readings of the vehicles and, thus, increase their sales value.
The government’s sentencing memorandum provides additional details of the scheme. For example, the memorandum provides an example of how Khalilov altered an odometer on a vehicle so that the mileage was reduced from 35,000 to 35 miles. The co-conspirators also admitted they posted advertisements of the vehicles on Craigslist to advertise the vehicles to victims who were not aware of the fraudulent alterations. Additionally, the defendants admitted using doctored driver’s licenses containing their photograph but the names of prior vehicle owners to facilitate the sale of these vehicles. Evidence in the case demonstrated Aliyev possessed multiple driver’s licenses with the same photograph but different people’s names. The co-conspirators each acknowledged that the goal of the conspiracy was to sell vehicles to victims for an increased price based on the fraudulent odometer readings. According to the plea agreements, the co-conspirators sold at least 78 vehicles with rolled back odometer readings, resulting in a total loss to the victims of between $550,000 and $1 million.
All three defendants were charged in a single criminal complaint filed on May 3, 2021, and each was charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1349.
They each pleaded guilty to the charge.
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.