5 On Your Side

Raleigh man pleads guilty to odometer fraud

Posted June 14, 2013

A North Raleigh man pleaded guilty Thursday to tampering with the odometer of cars he sold and charging buyers far more than the vehicles were really worth. 

Francis Tendayi Marimo, 39, was arrested in February 2012 and charged with change of mileage violations, obtaining property by false pretenses and acting as a dealer without a license. He will be sentenced some time in September.

Federal agents started investigating Marimo after local car buyers realized the mileage on their vehicles wasn't right. He pleaded guilty to two instances, one in which he rolled back the odometer by 100,000 miles.

Investigators have said they believe he was involved in many more cases between 2008 and 2012.
The U.S. Department of Transportation recommends these tips for buyers of used cars:

  • Ask to see the title and compare the mileage on it with the vehicle's odometer. Examine the title closely if the mileage notation seems obscured or is not easy to read.
  • Compare the mileage on the odometer with the mileage on the vehicle's maintenance or inspection records. Search for oil change and maintenance stickers on windows or door frames, in the glove box or under the hood.
  • Examine the tires. If the odometer on the car shows 20,000 or less, it should have the original tires.
  • Look at the wear and tear on the vehicle – especially the gas, brake and clutch pedals – to be sure it seems consistent with and appropriate for the number of miles displayed on the odometer.
  • Request a Carfax Vehicle History Report to check for odometer discrepancies in the vehicle's history. If the seller does not have a vehicle history report, use the car's VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) to order a Carfax vehicle history report online.
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  • superman Jun 18, 2013

    And a final note--If the deal just seems to be too good to be true--run as fast as you can and dont look back.