A case investigated by California DMV investigators
LOS ANGELES -On August 26, 2019, a Studio City man pleaded guilty to operating a computerized odometer rollback business for vehicles that were leased from dealerships in the San Fernando Valley and Glendale.
Serge Oganesian, 45, pleaded guilty to six felony counts: one count of conspiracy to commit grand theft and five counts of computer access and fraud.
Oganesian had been running his odometer rollback business since April 2015 in North Hollywood, Glendale and Studio City at various times, according to Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Leonard Torrealba of the Consumer Protection Division.
“Consumers and car dealerships rely heavily of a vehicle’s mileage in deciding whether to purchase a vehicle or how to price a vehicle. Mileage is heavily factored into the value of a vehicle,” said California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) President Alan Barcelona. “Anyone who suspects an odometer has been tampered with, should notify DMV investigators. They know what they’re looking for and can find the person who is profiting from it.”
Oganesian hacked the computers of 12 vehicles and rolled back the vehicle odometer readings. The altered mileage amounted to $76,394 in false vehicle appreciation.
Sentencing is scheduled for April 21, 2020. Oganesian is expected to receive a 16-month jail sentence and will be ordered to pay a $15,000 fine.
The case was investigated by the California Department of Motor Vehicles, with assistance from the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office’s Bureau of Investigation.
What’s a VIN?
A Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) is the 17-character identifier for your car, truck, or motorcycle. It looks like this:
1VXBR12EXCP901213, and encodes the vehicle’s manufacturer, features, and serial number. No two vehicles have the same VIN, so it serves as your car’s fingerprint– this allows for all reports of accidents, title problems, insurance incidents, and more to be tracked through each vehicle’s VIN.
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|What’s this?||Example: 1VXBR12EXCP901213|
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You can find your vehicle’s VIN in the title document, the vehicle registration, and on the insurance policy. The VIN could also be located at the following locations on the car itself:
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A VIN report lets you learn about your vehicle’s history. It includes checks for whether the car has been stolen, experienced accidents, recorded as salvaged, as well as many othertitle problem checks. Ordering a VIN report before purchasing a vehicle allows you to catch potential problems and purchase with confidence.
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