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Sheriff's Office: Fraudulent vehicle sales discovered at local dealership

August 24, 2018
Pine Island Eagle

Members of the Lee County Sheriff's Office Auto Theft and Economic Crimes Units conducting a joint dealership inspection with the Department of Safety Highway Motor Vehicles at PG Auto Sales Inc. in Fort Myers Thursday say they discovered multiple cases of fraudulent sales

Detectives conducted the inspection to ensure the business at 3036 Palm Beach Boulevard "was maintaining appropriate vehicle records and not defrauding customers by falsifying vehicle odometer readings or Vehicle Identification Numbers (VIN). During the inspection, detectives located 24 vehicles with altered odometers," a release from the Lee County Sheriff's Office states.

"Records indicated 22 of the vehicle's odometers were altered while owned and maintained by PG Auto Sales. Investigators determined the odometers were rolled back an average of 50,000 80,000 miles," according to the release.

Investigators spoke with Miguel Preciado-Valadez, who identified himself as the president and manager of the business.

"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," officials reported. "Preciado-Valadez was subsequently arrested and charged with 22 Counts of Odometer Fraud under FSS 319.35(1c) Unlawful acts in connection with motor vehicle odometer readings."

Twenty-four altered vehicles were seized and towed to the Lee County Sheriff's Office evidence facility.

The investigation is ongoing and detectives with the Lee County Sheriff's Office Auto Theft Unit would like any information the public may have in connection with this investigation. The Auto Theft Unit can be reached at 239-258-3858.

"The Auto Theft Unit will continue their aggressive investigative efforts to identify any unscrupulous business practice aimed at defrauding the citizens of Lee County," the release states.

Source: Lee County Sheriff's Office



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