A Buford man has been sentenced to 18 months in federal prison for rolling back odometers on used cars and trucks to make the vehicles more valuable, the Justice Department announced Friday.
Ronald Dale Cole, 55, pleaded guilty May 30 in U.S. District Court in Atlanta to two counts of odometer tampering. Cole was sentenced Tuesday by U.S. District Judge Richard W. Story, who also ordered the defendant to pay $191,395 in restitution. Cole’s prison sentence will be followed by a year of supervised release, the first six months of which will include home detention.
Cole purchased high-mileage vehicles at wholesale auto auctions in Georgia and South Carolina, rolled back the odometers by an average of 97,742 miles and resold the vehicles at auto auctions, according to the Justice Department. At sentencing, Story found that Cole had sold 56 vehicles with altered odometers with an average loss per victim of $3,418. Most of the vehicles Cole sold were more than 10 years old when he sold them.
Because of the age of the cars, Cole was not required to sign a disclosure certifying the mileage on these 10-year old vehicles as accurate, but each time he altered an odometer with intent to change the mileage on the odometer, he violated federal law.