A Florida used car salesman got caught turning back time, the Lee County Sheriff’s Office said. Now, he might do a little time.
When sheriff’s detectives and state Department of Highway Safety Motor Vehicles inspectors went to Fort Myers’ area P G Auto Sales to investigate, they focused on Fort Myers resident Miguel Preciado-Valadez, 53, the used car dealership’s president and manager.
Preciado-Valadez faces 22 counts of possessing or selling a motor vehicle with a tampered odometer.
That’s a third-degree felony with maximum penalties, unlikely though they are, of five years and $5,000 fine per count.
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Odometers were rolled back 50,000 to 80,000 miles, the Lee Sheriff’s Office said.
“Detectives conducted the inspection to ensure the business was maintaining appropriate vehicle records and not defrauding customers by falsifying vehicle odometer readings or Vehicle Identification Numbers,” the sheriff’s office said. “During the inspection, detective located 24 vehicles with altered odometers. Records indicated 22 of the vehicle’s odometers were altered while owned and maintained by P G Auto Sales.
“During the course of the investigation, detectives learned that Valadez utilized a third party to alter odometer readings in order to move inventory at a faster pace.”
Those with information on this or other possible auto theft or auto fraud cases in Lee County can call 239-477-1077.